Day 229: enchanter's nightshade

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

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Some weeds – ruderals like chickweed, groundsel and hairy bittercress – are with us all year round. Others are more closely tied to a particular time of year, so that just as the appearance of the bright green leaves of dog’s mercury (Day 111) mark the beginning of spring, legions of enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea lutetiana) appear toward the middle of summer. Both, it’s worth noting, are plants of the woodland edge, and the tiny pink and white flowers of the latter may be peaking out at you from beneath a tree or shrub even now. A bit of a spreader, this nightshade that isn’t a nightshade – so in spite of a certain diminutive charm, it’s best pulled out, or attacked with a hoe if the ground is baked hard, as is typical in August.


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.