St. Johnswort

Hypericum perforatum
Family Guttiferae

* Flowers bright yellow, with 5 petals. Petals narrow, bluntly diamond-shaped, with black dots along the margins, 1". Bushy stamens.
* Leaves narrow, elliptic, with translucent dots.
* Height: 1-2 1/2'.

Natural History:
* Flowers from mid-June, around the summer solstice, to September.
* Habitat: Roadsides, meadows, waste places.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Introduced from Europe.

* Since the brilliant yellow, sun-like flowers bloom near the summer solstice, ancient people naturally associated St. Johnswort with the sun. It is believed that the genus name Hypericum comes from the god Hyperion, father of Helios, the sun god.

* In early Christian times, the traditional solstice festival was changed to celebrate St. John the Baptist, whose birthdate was believed to be in the middle of June.

* "The leaves laid upon broken shins and scabbed legs heal them, and many other hurts and griefes, whereof it took his name Tout-saine, or Tutsane, of healing all things."
-John Gerard, 1633


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008