Flower of the Day: Enchanter’s Nightshade (another LWF)

(try clicking on each picture to see the details better)

Circaea lutetiana; Onagraceae (evening primrose family)


Not in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), despite its common name.  I believe the generic name (Circaea) is from Greek mythology; Circe was the enchantress who turned Odysseus’ crew into swine.

Another plant I was ecstatic to find.  Set up the tripod and got out the 105mm lens and spent a good 10 minutes trying to get decent pictures.  Why ecstatic?  Because I’d read about it but never seen it before.  Last year when I was even less good at using botanical keys, I (briefly) mistook another plant for this.  Look at the closeup; how many petals do you see? 20140613-DSC_0150It looks like 4, but is actually two (and two sepals).  There are very few flowers with only two petals.  Only half a page worth in Newcomb’s.  That kind of trivia makes it interesting to me.

Here’s the whole plant, about two and a half feet tall:

20140619-DSC_0078 Enchanter’s nightshade can be found in rich woodlands, especially where it gets a little dappled sunlight.

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