Broadleaf Enchanters Nightshade Plant Information
Broadleaf Enchanters Nightshade grows in the following 37 states:Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia
The genus name comes from the enchantress Circe of Greek mythology and the generic designation is derived from Lutetia, the Latin name for Paris. Paris at one time was known as the "Witch City". Despite its name it is not especially toxic, but contains a lot of the astringent tannin.Circaea lutetiana, known as enchanter's-nightshade, is a plant in the evening primrose family, Onagraceae.
Circaea lutetiana is a perennial herbaceous plant with opposite, simple leaves, on slender, green stems. The flowers are white, borne in summer. It grows 20cm to 60cm, rarely up to 75 centimeters high.
The leaves are rounded or slightly notched at the base, they narrow gradually to the pointed tip and are not strongly toothed, but have sinuate edges. The leaf stalks are equally hairy all round.
The flower has 2 notched petals, 2 stamens and a 2-lobed stigma. The open flowers are well spaced along the stalk and there are no bracts at base of individual flower stalks. The fruit consists of 2 equal cells, and usually sets seed. The flower stalks become angled downwards before fruiting. The fruit is a small bur 3.5-5mm which aids the plant's dispersal via zoochory.
In winter the aerial parts die off leaving an underground rhizome.
Circaea alpina will hybridize with Circaea lutetiana producing sterile offspring that persists in vegetative colonies.
The plant is native to Europe, Middle Asia, Siberia, and the eastern United states and Canada. It grow in woods in deep shade and moist environments on nitrogen-containing clay.
It is only rarely used as a garden plant, one variety is known as 'Caveat Emptor', has leaves that are heavily mottled pink.
Circaea lutetiana herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea, or externally as cold maceration in ethanol, for treatment of rheumatism, gout, infections, and fever.
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