Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

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. These plants were growing in a clearing in Highland Park, where they 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.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s