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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Circaea alpina L.
Small enchanter's nightshade
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
USDA Symbol: CIAL
Slender stems with several pairs of heart-shaped leaves and tiny white flowers in racemes.
Circe, the Greek enchantress for whom the genus is named, possessed magical powers and a knowledge of poisonous herbs; she could change men into swine. A Eurasian species of Circaea, with races in eastern North America, was one of Circe’s magical plants.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Across northern North America; in West, south mostly in mountains to southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico; in East, south to Georgia. Native Habitat:
Cool damp woods.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff