West Highland Flora

Upland Enchanter's Nightshade


Circaea x intermedia

 

Circaea x intermedia

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Jul 2003 Suardal, Skye
From top leaf to tip of stem c 6 cm

Frequent in shaded areas, usually woods or scrub, sometimes rock crevices as in pic on left.  Tends to be more upland than C lutetiana.

Flowers c 6-9 mm long including calyx and stamens.  Leaves 3-8 cm.  Height 15-40 cm.

ID: Unmistakable in flower, apart from possible confusion with Enchanter's Nightshade.  Most reliable differences are:

  • Leaves inverted heart-shaped, deeply notched at base

  • Leaves narrow abruptly to the pointed tip

  • Leaves clearly toothed

  • Leaf stalks much more hairy on upper side than lower (often hairless on lower side)

  • Fruit consists of 2 unequal cells, not usually setting seed

  • Calyx with sparse glands or none

  • Topmost open flowers often rather clustered together

  • Flowers have a tiny bract at base of each stalk, difficult to see

  • A smaller plant and possibly a more enchanted one

Other features: This plant is a sterile hybrid between Enchanter's Nightshade and Alpine Enchanter's Nightshade, the latter being very rare in the area.  It's remarkable how the hybrid manages to exist in so many places where one parent is absent.

 

Circaea x intermedia

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Jul 2003 Suardal, Skye

 

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