Plant A Day – Broadleaf Enchanter’s Nightshade

Broadleaf Enchanter's Nightshade Circaea lutetiana

Broadleaf Enchanter’s Nightshade
Circaea lutetiana

This plant is cool for a lot of reasons.  First of all … its name!  In Homer’s Odyssey, the magical goddess Circe would invite men to a feast, but would lace the food with an herb which would drug them, then she would turn them into pigs.  Early botanists decided that this was the plant and therefore named it Enchanter’s Nightshade and gave it the genus name Circaea.  Plants have way better names than birds!

Far less interesting is the fact that the flowers have only two petals, although deeply cleft and look like four.  There are only a very few species flowers that only have two petals.

The flowers have two deeply cleft petals, giving the appearance of a four petaled flower.

The flowers have two deeply cleft petals, giving the appearance of a four petaled flower.

Opposite leaves with tiny little teeth

Opposite leaves with tiny little teeth

The flowerheads (racemes in this case), exhibit a progression that a lot of plants do.  The topmost part has the beginning of the flowers and the bottom-most part has the seedpods.  This way you can see the whole progression of the flowers from buds to seeds.

The flowerheads (racemes in this case), exhibit a progression that a lot of plants do. The topmost part has the beginning of the flowers and the bottom-most part has the seedpods. This way you can see the whole progression of the flowers from buds to seeds.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Plant A Day and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s