St. Johnswort

Hypericum canadense
Family Guttiferae

* Blossoms small, yellow, with 5 petals, less than 1/4".
* Leaves narrow, pointing upward.
* Height: 6-20".

Natural History:
* Flowers July - September.
* Habitat: Wet soils and meadows.
* Range: Throughout North America.
* Native.

* St. Johnswort flowers were used in early Christian times to ward off evil. Farmers once burned it on June 24, the day of Saint John, to protect the farm, its inhabitants, and its animals from witches, devils, and goblins. Herbalist Rycharde Banckes wrote in 1525 that "This is called saynt Johannes worte. The vertue of it is thus. If it be put in a mannes house, there shall come no wicked spryte therein."

* The word Hypericum comes from the Greek hupereikon, meaning "above a picture." St. Johnswort plants were once hung above religious images to deter evil.


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