Circaea alpina

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Enchanter's nightshade
Circaea alpina 6758.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Circaea
C. alpina
Binomial name
Circaea alpina
Range within North America

Circaea alpina commonly called enchanter's nightshade or small enchanter's nightshade is a 10–30 cm tall perennial herb found in cool forests of the Northern Hemisphere.[1][2]


The leaves are opposite, ovate, 2–6 cm and coarsely dentate. The 1.5–4 cm (0.6–1.6 in) petioles have a wing beneath. The flowers and fruits are clustered near the top of the fruiting raceme; each raceme bears 15 or less white or pink flowers in mid-May through early September.[3][4][5] Each flower has two white to light pink petals 1–1.5 mm (0.04–0.06 in) long with two lobes. The two white sepals are 1–2 mm (0.04–0.08 in) long.[3] The fruit is a small bur with one seed. C. alpina can reproduce vegetatively and via stolons.[2]


In North America, Circaea alpina is distributed throughout all of Canada and North Carolina through Maine and New Mexico through Washington.[6][7] In Eurasia, the range of C. alpina includes Northern Europe south to Albania and Bulgaria and east to Korea and Japan.[1] C. alpina prefers a moist, upland habitat.[8] It is generally found in forests or near streams from sea level to 3,000 metres (10,000 ft).[6]


Circaea alpina will hybridize with Circaea lutetiana producing sterile offspring that persists in vegetative colonies.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Species details : Circaea alpina". ITIS: Catalogue of Life. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  2. ^ a b "Alpine Enchanter's Nightshade". Naturegate. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  3. ^ a b Klinkenberg, Brian (Editor) (2014). "Circaea alpina". E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Retrieved 2016-08-02.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Giblin, David (Editor) (2015). "Circaea alpina". WTU Herbarium Image Collection. Burke Museum, University of Washington. Retrieved 2016-08-02.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Circaea alpina". Jepson eFlora: Taxon page. Jepson Herbarium; University of California, Berkeley. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  6. ^ a b Sullivan, Steven. K. (2015). "Circaea alpina". Wildflower Search. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  7. ^ "Circaea alpina". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  8. ^ a b Rhoads, Block (2007-09-05). The Plants of Pennsylvania (2 ed.). ISBN 978-0-8122-4003-0.

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