Plant Profile: Enchanter's Nightshade

June 23, 2020

 

So many of us true plant collectors are guilty of buying a plant purely for its name. That is exactly why we are are offering Circaea canadensis, because its name is fun.  An unassuming perennial plant 1 to 2 feet tall, Circaea canadensis is best known by its common name; Enchanter’s Nightshade.  Despite its ominous sounding name and being listed as an ingredient in ancient magical concoctions, the plant is not toxic to man nor beast.  It is however, inedible.  The latin name Circaea is actually derived from the Greek enchantress Circe, thus explaining the 'enchanter' epithet. 

 

Enchanter's Nightshade has delicate spikes of small white flowers which are a valuable source of nectar and pollen for small native bees and bee flies in early summer.  This pleasant woodland plant forms colonies via its short rhizomes, and can spread aggressively.  Unwanted plants are easily removed due to their shallow root systems.  

 

Plant it with your garden gnome away from direct sun and relax with a good summer fantasy read.

 

 

 

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