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- EssaysEric Dinerstein Bill Young
Broadleaf Enchanter's Nightshade
Enchanter's Nightshade is a native perennial plant that can be found throughout Virginia. It is in the primrose family and can grow to be one to two feet tall. The pollen and nectar attract some flies and bees, and one way the seeds are distributed is by getting stuck to the feathers of birds and the fur of animals. The common and scientific names have connections with magic and the occult. The genus name is Circaea, which is a reference to the enchantress Circe, who in Homer's Odyssey waved her magic wand and turned Odysseus' men into swine. The scientific species name is lutetiana, a reference to an old name for Paris, which used to be known as "Witch City". Enchanter's Nightshade is not especially toxic, although it contains a lot of tannin.
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