Information on Enchanter's-nightshade

Common Name: Enchanter's-nightshade
Scientific Name: Circaea lutetiana
Irish Name: Fuinseagach
Family Group: Onagraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Enchanter's-nightshade is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

This is an elegant little plant, slightly downy, delicate and leggy.  The tiny little white – sometimes pinkish -  flowers (4-8mm) are arranged along a tall, loose, raceme. They have only two-petals, each deeply notched, with the stamens extending beyond the flower. The two sepals are like little pink wings.  This flower blooms from May to August and later, the fruit appears as an achene which is well bristled with little hooks for dissemination by animals.  The paired, oval leaves are quite long and heart shaped at their base.  This plant is usually found in shaded woodlands and hedgerows and is quite frequently regarded as a garden weed.  It is a native plant belonging to the family Onagraceae.  

I first identified this plant in Woodstock, Co Wicklow in 1978 and photographed it in Kilmeaden, Co Waterford in 2006. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

The French name for this flower is 'Herbe à la Magicienne' and the Latin name associates the plant with Circe, the mythical and beautiful witch.