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Herbs - Roots - Vegetables
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Scientific name:

Hypericum perforatum Linnaeus


Hypericaceae - Guttiferae

Italian name:

Erba di S. Giovanni montana, Iperico

English name:

Common St. Johnswort

Common St. Johnswort

An herb with bright yellow flowers in broad, branched, terminal clusters. 

Stems herbaceous, smooth, slender, 1-2 ft. high from a perennial root, usually much branched and with several barren shoots at the base. Leaves sessile, linear or oblong (elliptical) 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long, on 1/10-1/3 in. wide, blunt and numerous, with translucent dots. Flowers  3/4-1 in. (2-2.5 cm) broad, bright yellow, several or many in terminal cymes; five petals with black dots on margins; longer than the lanceolate pointed sepals; stamens numerous, united by their base into three sets; three styles; fruit pod or brown capsule ovoid, abourt 1/4 in. long or less, three-celled. 

The common name derives from the fact that the flowers are said to bloom on St. John's Eve, June 24. Introduced from Europe, this highly branched perennial is the most common St. Johnswort and is easily recognized by the tiny translucent dots that can be seen when the leaves are held up to the light. 


Native of Europe and naturalized as a weed in fields, roadsides and waste places. Range: throughout East.


June - September (No. America)

Related species:

Hypericum pyramidatum (Great St. Johnswort) ; Hypericum mutilum (Dwarf St. Johnswort); Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort); and Hypericum ellipticum (Pale St. Johnswort).


  • The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Ed., Alfred A, Knopf (New York, 1986). All rights reserved.  
  • Homer D. House, Wild Flowers, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. (New York, 1974)

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This page compliments of Marisa Ciceran

Created: Sunday, April 08, 2001; Last updated:  Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Copyright © 1998, USA