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Circaea lutetiana - L.

Common Name Enchanter's Nightshade, Broadleaf enchanter's nightshade
Family Onagraceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and shady places on a moist, base-rich soil, throughout Britain to 360 metres[17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and Iran.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Moist Soil Semi-shade
Circaea lutetiana Enchanter

Circaea lutetiana Enchanter

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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Circaea lutetiana is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in). It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Diptera. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.



Dappled Shade;  Shady Edge;  Sunny Edge;  Woodland Garden.

Woods and shady places on a moist, base-rich soil, throughout Britain to 360 metres[17].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant has been used as a treatment on wounds[257]. A compound infusion has been drunk and also used as a wash on injured parts of the body[257].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist soil and a position in partial shade, growing well in woodland conditions[200].


Seed - sow spring in situ if you have sufficient seed. Otherwise sow in pots in light shade in a cold frame, pricking the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer or the following spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Weedlady   Tue Aug 10 21:49:55 2004

This plant grows commonly in my area (SW Pennsylvania, U.S.) in rich, moist woods or even in shaded, moist, disturbed ground around buildings, where it can become quite invasive as it forms colonies via rhizomes as well as by seed. Range: Much of eastern and Midwestern U. S. and Canada north of southern Georgia. Found as far west as far west as Wyoming. An excellent color photograph may be seen at http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/circaealute.html

Link: United States Dept. of Agriculture Plants Database

Fadadomar   Mon Jun 5 2006

This plant also grows commonly in woodland parks in the West of the Netherlands (Europe). Last year my uncle's garden (in Amsterdam) was invaded by this plant and I transferred some of them to my garden (near the seaside, The Hague). This year my plants haven't returned after the Winter, whereas my uncle's garden was once again invaded by it. I wonder whether Mother Nature is trying to tell my uncle something by letting this plant grow so abundantly in his garden. My uncle, 86 years old is ill (his heart is not functioning well, he has prostate cancer which has methastased in his bones with all the ailments that come along with this condition). A Dutch "herb-lady" once wrote that certain herbs start growing spontaneously in the garden of someone who may need those herbs. Would Circaea lutetiana have some other medicinal use then treating wounds? My uncle has no (external) wounds.

Andrew Brown   Sat Sep 27 2008

Please note the correct spelling for Reference [17] is Clapham TUTIN & Warberg, not Tootin Regards

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Subject : Circaea lutetiana  
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