Nightshade Small White Flowers

Minnesota county distribution map

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter's Nightshade)

Plant Info
Also known as: Broadleaf Enchanter's Nightshade
Life cycle: perennial
Origin: native
Habitat: shade; moist woods, thickets
Bloom season: June - August
Plant height: 1 to 2 feet
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
National distribution (click map to enlarge):


Loose cluster of stalked flowers (raceme) more or less evenly spaced along the top of the stem, often with a few lateral racemes from the base of the cluster and/or the uppermost axils. Flowers are white to pinkish, 1/8 to ¼ inch in diameter, with 2 divided petals deeply notched that can look like 4, 2 long white stamens projecting from the center, and 2 sepals that bend back away from the flower with the hairy ovary beneath them. Flower and cluster stalks are covered in short white hairs.

Leaves and stem:

[photo of leaves] Leaves are opposite with pairs at right angles to the pair below, up to 5 inches long and 3 inches wide, toothed around the edges, narrowly to broadly egg-shaped to oblong, tapering to a point at the tip, on a stalk 1 to 2 inches long. Leaves become rather smaller towards the top of the plant. Stems below the flower clusters are mostly hairless.


Fruit is a small, teardrop shaped, 2-chambered capsule densely covered in hooked hairs that grab onto anything that passes by.


Enchanter's Nightshade spreads by both seed and rhizomes, often creating small colonies in woodlands across much of Minnesota. There are recognized 2 varieties (or subspecies, depending on the reference): var. canadensis (also known as Circia canadensis) is the North American species and var. quadrisulcata (C. quadrisulcata) its Eurasian counterpart. Closely related is Alpine Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea alpina), a much smaller plant which has open flowers all clustered at the top of the raceme rather than along the stem, and rarely gets more than 10 inches tall at maturity.

More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties.

[photo of flowers] [photo of fruit]

What about rose of Sharon?

2005-09-29 01:20:02 by luvmycats

Or forsythia? First flowering bush in the Spring -- I love them. I like them free form and not trimmed, myself. They have a lovely, weeping natural form.
Rose of Sharon flowers later (July) and can get quite tall -- small tree size, but it's often used as a shrub. The flowers last for a while, too. They come in white, lavendar, and I've seen mixed bushes, too (flowers).
Both do really well in this area (I'm in N-NJ).
Rhododendrons they are pretty slow-growing and need LOTS of water to get established

Ideas for your garden

2007-01-03 00:11:52 by kmgardendesign

I'm a garden designer and these are some of my Mediterranean favorite plants:
-Lavender 'Goodwin Creek Gray' Blooms nearly year round
-Salvia 'Whirly Blue' or 'Pozo Blue' or 'Allen Chickering' A CA native with very fragrant leaves and striking early summer blooms
-Achillea millefolium 'Island Pink Yarrow' Another CA native with tiny fernlike leaves and pink/white flower heads. Spreads slowly for a very lush look
-Pink hedge roses 'Simplicity' is an easy (disease resistent) one that you can deadhead from time to time(or not) and looks striking mixed with the lavender. Mine bloomed into December
-Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' I use this as a groundcover around my patio, with roses behind it
-Citrus-no Mediterranean garden is complete without a Lemon...

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