Saturday, October 23, 2010

Enchanter's Nightshade

Enchanter's Nightshade, (Circaea lutetiana or Circaea Alpine) is Circe's plant. Circe is the Greek "witch Goddess. Other names for it include Great Witch Herb, Sorcerer of Paris, Magic Herb, and Great and Common Witch's Herb.

In German it is called Hexenkraut (Witches' Herb), it's Anglo-Saxon name was Aefthone, as it was believed to counter elf-derived illnesses. 

Despite its common fold name, it is not as toxic as other plants nicknamed Nightshade, such as Deadly Nightshade, Black Nightshade or Russian Nightshade. 

There are two species of Enchanter's Nightshade. The most common Circaea Lutetiana - is from Eurasia. It grows near streams and damp, marshy places. It is often associated with magic and witchcraft. 

There is a variation of the this cultivar that prefers higher altitudes. Alpine Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea Alpine) is also called Circe of the Alps. 

Both plants are associated with love spells, binding charms and hexes. Enchanter's Nightshade was one of the plants whose possession was sufficient evidence to warrant an accusation of witchcraft. 

(Any questions,

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