Stem. - One or two feet high. Leaves. - Opposite, thin, ovate, slightly toothed. Flowers. - Dull white, small, growing in a raceme. Calyx. - Two-lobed. Corolla. - Of two petals. Stamens. - Two. Pistil. - One.
This insignificant and ordinarily uninteresting plant arrests attention by the frequency with which it is found flowering in the summer woods and along shady roadsides.
C. Alpina is a smaller, less common species, which is found along the mountains and in deep woods. Both species are burdened with the singularly inappropriate name of enchanter's nightshade. There is nothing in their appearance to suggest an enchanter or any of the nightshades. It seems, however, that the name of a plant called after the enchantress Circe, and described by Dioscorides nearly two thousand years ago, was accidentally transferred to this unpretentious genus.