West Highland Flora

Enchanter's Nightshade


Circaea lutetiana

 

Circaea lutetiana

Photo Carl Farmer
6 Aug 2003 Dunvegan, Skye

Frequent in lowland woods, becoming rare in the far north.

Flowers c 6-9 mm long including calyx and stamens.  Leaves c 4-10 cm.  Height c 20-70 cm.

ID: Unmistakable in flower, apart from possible confusion with Upland Enchanter's Nightshade.  Most reliable differences are:

  • Leaves rounded or slightly notched at base

  • Leaves narrow gradually to the pointed tip

  • Leaves not strongly toothed, but with sinuate edges

  • Leaf stalks equally hairy all round

  • Fruit consists of 2 equal cells, and usually sets seed

  • Calyx densely glandular (see pic below)

  • All open flowers well spaced

  • No bracts at base of individual flower stalks

  • Generally a larger plant, but specimens from poorer soils can have the jizz of Upland EN and need careful checking.

Other features: Flower stalks become angled downwards before fruiting, as in pic below.  Flower has 2 notched petals, 2 stamens and a 2-lobed stigma.

 

Circaea lutetiana

Photo Carl Farmer
6 Aug 2003 Dunvegan, Skye

 

Circaea lutetiana

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2003 Armadale, Skye
Leaflike bract just beneath buds pointing towards camera 3.3 cm long
 

Leaves and buds


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