Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Circaea alpina
enchanter's nightshade

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Cool, damp woods, low to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous, juicy perennial from slender rhizomes, the stem 1-4 dm. tall, simple to freely-branched, clear green, glabrous below, with short, soft hairs above and in the inflorescence.


Leaves opposite, petiolate, the blades ovate to cordate-ovate, acuminate, entire or with widely-spaced, small teeth, 2-6 cm. long, with fine, appressed hairs, especially on the underside..


Inflorescence of axillary racemes, often with 1 or 2 linear bracts at the base; pedicels spreading to erect in flower, becoming reflexed and equaling the fruit; calyx tube very short, 2-lobed, the lobes reflexed; petals 2, white, notched, 1-1.5 mm. long; ovary inferior, 2-celled; stamens 2.


Capsule 2-celled, top-shaped, 2 mm. long, covered with short, hooked hairs.

Accepted Name:
Circaea alpina L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 9. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Circaea alpina in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Circaea alpina checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Circaea alpina information.

E-Flora BC: Circaea alpina atlas page.

CalPhotos: Circaea alpina photos.

USDA Plants: Circaea alpina information.

43 photographs:
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