Flora Pittsburghensis

St.-John’s-Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Hypericum perforatumPhotographed June 20.

The thick wad of stamens in the middle of the flower is characteristic of St.-John’s-Worts, most of which also have bright yellow flowers. The lush growth of tidy opposite elliptical leaves makes this a handsome plant, and it carries its flowers proudly. These plants were growing in a clearing in Highland Park; the ones at the end of the article grew between the railroad and Library Road in Castle Shannon. Both colonies were blooming in the middle of June.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

HYPERICUM [Tourn.] L. ST. JOHN’S-WORT. Sepals 5, usually subequal. Petals 5, oblique, convolute in the bud (except in 6). Stamens frequently united or clustered in 3-5 parcels; no interposed glands. Pod 1-celled or 3-5-celled. Seeds usually cylindrical. Herbs or shrubs, with cymose yellow, flesh-colored, or purplish flowers. (An ancient Greek name of obscure meaning.)

H. perforatum L. (COMMON S.) Stem much branched and corymbed, somewhat 2-edged, producing runners from the base; leaves elliptic- or linear-oblong, with pellucid dots; petals deep yellow, black-dotted along the margin, twice the length of the lanceolate acute sepals; flowers numerous, in open leafy cymes. Fields, etc. June-Sept. A pernicious weed, difficult to extirpate; juice very acrid. (Nat. from Eu.)

Hypericum perforatumPhotographed June 19.
Hypericum perforatum

Family Hypericaceae (St.-John’s-Wort Family).   |   Index of Families.