Enchanter’s nightshade

Botanical Name :Circaea lutetiana
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Circaea
Species: C. lutetiana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Common Name:Enchanter’s nightshade

Habitat ;The plant is native to Europe , Middle Asia and Siberia. They grow in woods in deep shade and moist environments on nitrogen-containing clay.Woods and shady places on a moist, base-rich soil, throughout Britain to 360 metres

Description:
Circaea lutetiana is a perennial herbaceous plant with opposite, simple leaves, on slender, green stems. The flowers are white, borne in summer. It grows 20 cm to 60 cm, rarely up to 75 centimeters.

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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.It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Diptera. The fruit consists of 2 equal cells, and usually sets seed. The flower stalks become angled downwards before fruiting.

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In winter the aerial parts die off leaving an underground rhizome.

Cultivation :
Prefers a moist soil and a position in partial shade, growing well in woodland conditions .

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in situ if you have sufficient seed. Otherwise sow in pots in light shade in a cold frame, pricking the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer or the following spring.

Medicinal Uses;
The plant has been used as a treatment on wounds. A compound infusion has been drunk and also used as a wash on injured parts of the body.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circaea_lutetiana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Circaea+lutetiana
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/enchanter_ns.htm
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/circaealute.html

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