broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade

(Circaea canadensis)

Conservation Status
broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade is a 12 to 28 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a short taproot, fibrous roots, and slender rhizomes.

The stem is erect, round, and unbranched below the inflorescence. It is sparsely covered with white, downward-pointing hairs, becoming almost hairless with age.

The leaves are opposite, oblong egg-shaped, 2 to 4¾ long, and usually less than half as wide as long. They are on leaf stalks (petioles) that are up to 2 long. The petioles are round and have a slender groove on the upper side. They are hairless or sparsely covered with forward pointing hairs. The leaf blades are rounded or shallowly heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper and lower surfaces sparsely hairy. The margins are very shallowly toothed. The teeth have a minute, whitish tip.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, up to 8 long cluster (raceme) of many flowers at the end of the stem and shorter racemes rising singly from the axils of bracts near the base of the inflorescence. The central axis of the inflorescence (rachis) elongates early in the season, so that the flowers are widely and evenly spaced along its length. The rachis is moderately to densely covered with spreading, gland-tipped hairs.

Each flower is held at the end of a to long, widely-spreading, glandular-hairy stalk (pedicel). At the base of the flower there is a globular, green ovary. The ovary is densely covered with long, hooked hairs. There are 2 green sepals, 2 white petals, 2 white stamens with white anthers, and a long, slender, white style. The sepals are 1 16 to long, sharply bent backward, glandular-hairy on the outer surface, and hairless on the inner surface. The petals are 1 16 to long, spreading, and deeply notched at the tip, the notch less than half the length of the petal.

The fruit is a to 3 16 long, 2-celled capsule. The capsule is strongly ridged and densely covered with stiff, hooked hairs.




12 to 28


Flower Color




Similar Species


Alpine enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea alpina ssp. alpina) is a smaller plant, no more than 12 in height. The leaves are usually more than half as wide as long. The flowers are clustered at the end of the raceme. The pedicels are erect to ascending and hairless. The fruit capsule is not ridged.


Moist. Woodlands.




June to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
  Order Myrtales (myrtles, evening primroses, and allies)  


Onagraceae (evening primrose)  
  Subfamily Onagroideae  
  Tribe Circaeeae  


Circaea (enchanter’s nightshades)  

Subordinate Taxa



Until recently, this species was included in Circaea lutetiana, one circumboreal species with three subspecies. Only Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis occurred in North America. In 2005, based on molecular DNA and other data, the Asian subspecies retained the name Circaea lutetiana while the other two became subspecies of Circaea canadensis. The New World species became Circaea canadensis ssp. canadensis, while the Old World species became Circaea canadensis ssp. quadrisulcata. A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2009 showed that the two Circaea canadensis subspecies were not closely related, despite their morphological similarity. The New World species retained the name Circaea canadensis, while the Old World species became Circaea quadrisulcata.

To date (July 29, 2022), a few sources, including iNaturalist, have adopted the name Circaea canadensis for just this species. Other names currently in use include Circaea canadensis ssp. canadensis (FNA, ITIS, and Plants of the World Online), Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis (USDA PLANTS, NatureServe, and World Flora Online), Circaea lutetiana (GRIN), and Circaea lutetiana var. canadensis (MnTaxa).




Circaea canadensis ssp. canadensis

Circaea lutetiana

Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis

Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis

Circaea quadrisulcata var. canadensis

Circaea quadrisulcata ssp. canadensis


Common Names


broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade

broadleaf enchanter’s-nightshade

broad-leaf enchanter’s nightshade

broad-leaf enchanter’s-nightshade









Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.



An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.



The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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In some way this plant is similar to American lopseed. Flower is white instead of purple, leaves not toothed…

    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade  


    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade  
    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade  


    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade      


    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade      


    broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade   broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade  






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Other Videos
  Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea Lutetiana) - 2012-06-27

Published on Jun 28, 2012

Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) is a plant in the evening primrose family, Onagraceae.

Groot heksenkruid (Circaea lutetiana) is een vaste plant uit de teunisbloemfamilie (Onagraceae).




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Location: Lake Shore, MN

In some way this plant is similar to American lopseed. Flower is white instead of purple, leaves not toothed…

broadleaf enchanter’s nightshade  

Agassiz Dunes SNA (MN DNR)

Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Buffalo River State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Carver Highlands WMA, South Unit

Carver Park Reserve

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Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Clifton E. French Regional Park

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Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Flandrau State Park

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Greenwater Lake SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

Kasota Prairie SNA

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Minneopa State Park

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Rice Lake State Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Seminary Fen SNA

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Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

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Wild River State Park

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Woodbury WMA







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