Enchanter's Nightshade

Enchanter's Nightshade
Common Enchanter's Nightshade. Circaea lutetiana.
Onagraceae, the evening-primrose family.

Plant: Erect, somewhat delicate plant, 1'-3' high, with opposite leaves and sparse, elongated clusters of small, white flowers. Flowering stalks and fruit covered with bristly hairs, otherwise, the plant is mostly smooth. Perennial.
Flowers: Small, white, < 1/4", with extended pistils and stamens, two deeply cleft petals that appear to be four, and two cupped, recurved sepals. Flowers appear sparsely on several elongated clusters (racemes).
Leaves: Opposite, ovate, 2"-6", pointed, with slightly toothed margins, generally smooth and thin.
Fruit: A distinctive, stalked, top-shaped capsule, about 1/4" long, covered with hooked bristles, and pointing backwards.
Blooming: June-August
Habitat: Moist woods

Comments: An unusual flower with only two petals. The generic and common names refer to the mythological Greek enchantress Circe, who supposedly used a species of the plant in her magic.

Where to find it: Scattered in the woods, near the picnic area, and along the trail.