St Johns Wort ( Hypericum perforatum)


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Family St Johns Wort

Data Table








St. John's-wort

Perforate St. John's wort - Hypericum perforatum
Hairy St. John's-Wort - Hypericum hirsutum
Slender St. John's-Wort - Hypericum pulchrum
Hypericaceae (St. John's-wort family)

Perforate St. John-wort

Flowers: June - September. Variable height up to 70 cm.

St. John's-wort has become quite a well known plant over the last few decennia for its medicinal properties, because its tropho-restorative properties for the nervous system make it a viable and effective alternative to pharmaceutical anti-depressants. The plant which is used for this purpose is now commonly known as plain "St. Johnswort", although botanically it would be more correct to speak of Perforate St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum). The un-stalked, opposite leaves of H. perforatum have lots of large translucent dots, which are oil glands. If you a leaf up to the light of the sky, you will be able to see these dots even more clearly. The many yellow flowers are borne in panicles and have prominent red anthers. The red colouring in the flowers gives a magnificent red colour to infused oils made from them. St. John's-wort infused flower oil is just as useful as it looks good and can be used for healing wounds, fibrositis and for soothing the awful pain of shingles (inflamed nerve ends).This is a plant of dry rough grassland, shrub, open woods and hedges on non-acid soil. It can be found throughout Britain, but is rare in Central and North Scotland.

Hairy St. John-wort

Flowers: July - August.
An erect, hairy perennial plant up to 110 cm high. It also has translucent dots on the leaves and flowers with red anthers.
Hairy St. John-wort grows generally on calcareous soils in woodland, scrub, rough grass, road verges and near riverbanks. It can be found throughout England (except for in the South-West), but in other parts of the British Isles it is scattered or scarce.

Slender St. John-wort

Flowers: June - August.
A hairless perennial up to 40 cm high. Its stems are much more slender than Perforate and Hairy St. John's-wort. Its yellow flowers are reddish tinged and have black glands on the sepal margins.
It can be found in woods, heaths and dry, grassy places on acid, well-drained soils. It is widespread throughout Britain, except for the East Midlands and East Anglia, where these plants are scarce.