broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade

(Circaea canadensis ssp. canadensis)

Conservation Status
broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis) is a 12 to 28 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a short taproot, fibrous roots, and slender rhizomes.

The stem is erect, round, and unbranched below the inflorescence. It is sparsely covered with white, downward-pointing hairs, becoming almost hairless with age.

The leaves are opposite, oblong egg-shaped, 2 to 4¾ long, and usually less than half as wide as long. They are on leaf stalks (petioles) that are up to 2 long. The petioles are round and have a slender groove on the upper side. They are hairless or sparsely covered with forward pointing hairs. The leaf blades are rounded or shallowly heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper and lower surfaces sparsely hairy. The margins are very shallowly toothed. The teeth have a minute, whitish tip.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, up to 8 long cluster (raceme) of many flowers at the end of the stem and shorter racemes rising singly from the axils of bracts near the base of the inflorescence. The central axis of the inflorescence (rachis) elongates early in the season, so that the flowers are widely and evenly spaced along its length. The rachis is moderately to densely covered with spreading, gland-tipped hairs.

Each flower is held at the end of a to long, widely-spreading, glandular-hairy stalk (pedicel). At the base of the flower there is a globular, green ovary. The ovary is densely covered with long, hooked hairs. There are 2 green sepals, 2 white petals, 2 white stamens with white anthers, and a long, slender, white style. The sepals are 1 16 to long, sharply bent backward, glandular-hairy on the outer surface, and hairless on the inner surface. The petals are 1 16 to long, spreading, and deeply notched at the tip, the notch less than half the length of the petal.

The fruit is a to 3 16 long, 2-celled capsule. The capsule is strongly ridged and densely covered with stiff, hooked hairs.




12 to 28


Flower Color




Similar Species


Alpine enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea alpina ssp. alpina) is a smaller plant, no more than 12 in height. The leaves are usually more than half as wide as long. The flowers are clustered at the end of the raceme. The pedicels are erect to ascending and hairless. The fruit capsule is not ridged.


Moist. Woodlands.




June to August




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
  Order Myrtales (myrtles, evening primroses, and allies)  


Onagraceae (evening primrose)  
  Subfamily Onagroideae  
  Tribe Circaeeae  


Circaea (enchanter’s nightshade)  
  Species Circaea canadensis (broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade)  

Subordinate Taxa


There are two subspecies of broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade. Only ssp, canadensis occurs in North America.




Circaea canadensis var. virginiana

Circaea latifolia

Circaea lutetiana var. canadensis

Circaea quadrisulcata var. canadensis

Circaea quadrisulcata ssp. canadensis


Common Names


broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade

broadleaf enchanter’s-nightshade

broad-leaf enchanter’s nightshade

broad-leaf enchanter’s-nightshade








Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.



In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.



The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.



An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.



The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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  broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)
  broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)


  broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)    


  broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)    


  broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade (ssp. canadensis)






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Other Videos
  Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea Lutetiana) - 2012-06-27

Published on Jun 28, 2012

Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) is a plant in the evening primrose family, Onagraceae.

Groot heksenkruid (Circaea lutetiana) is een vaste plant uit de teunisbloemfamilie (Onagraceae).




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