A visual encyclopedia of northern U.S. wildflowers

Enchanter's Nightshade

Circaea quadrisulcata

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Flowers white, tiny, 4 petals.

What a great name - "Enchanter's Nightshade"! The generic name "Circaea" refers, of course, to the enchantress Circe, famous for transforming Ulysses' men into pigs in Book ___ of Homer's Odyssey. (As far as I know, this little plant will not help with any sort of shape-changing ability.)

This fragile-looking herb prefers shaded woodlands, both dedicuous and coniferous, and rarely grows more than about a foot high. The leaves are paired and staggered at right angles on the single stem. The upper portion bears tiny white flowers with four petals, a protuding stamen, and a distinctive pair of "wings" bent back towards the stem.

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