Family, St. John's-wort. Color, yellow. Sepals, 5. Petals, 5. Stamens, very numerous, united in
3 or 5 groups. Styles, 3. Pod, 3-celled. Petals and anthers dotted with black. A much-branched, leafy stem, with runners starting near the base, and many flowers in a flat cluster. Leaves, oblong or lance-shaped, pellucid-dotted, opposite, sessile, meeting and almost clasping the stem. June to September.
Very common. A weed when once established difficult to extirpate. Juice tart and blistering to the mouth. Where not too common it is a bright and attractive plant. Imported from Europe.
H. adpressum - Color, yellow. Sepals and petals, 5. Stamens, many. Flowers, in terminal cymes, leafy near the base. Leaves, long, linear to oblong, acute at apex, thin, dotted. Stem, simple, unbranched, arising from a woody base, 2 or 4-edged or angled, about 18 inches high. Flowers, rather large and conspicuous. July and August.
Common st. john's-wort (Hypericum adpressum)
Petals, pale yellow. Flowers, few, in a cyme which has few or no leaves. Leaves, on the stem, thin, blunt, elliptical to oblong, with a clasping base. 8 to 20 inches high. July and August.
Wet places over a large area East and West.
H. punctatum. - Petals, pale yellow, marked with dots or lines of a darker shade. Flowers, crowded in terminal cymes. Leaves, oblong or lance-shaped, their bases almost clasping, conspicuously dotted with both black and clear dots. Stem, round. A perennial arising from a woody base. July to September.
We are likely to become confused with the many slightly varying species of St. John's-worts. Any one of them was in the eyes of maidens of an older time, endowed with a sort of magical power. If cultivated successfully in a garden, it would secure a husband within a year. Gathered and hung on the doors on the eve of St. John, it was supposed to be a protection against evil spirits. Common from Maine to Florida and westward, in moist soil.
Color, yellow. Sepals, petals, styles, 5. Many stamens and a red pod. Flowers, in cymose clusters, 2 inches across. Leaves, opposite, dotted, large, 3 to 5 inches long, clasping or sessile. Height, 2 to 5 feet. July.
This is the tallest of the genus, bearing large, showy blossoms. The dots in the leaves can be easily seen by holding them to the light. River-banks in all the Eastern States and far into the interior.
Flowers, small, few, yellow, on leafy branches. Leaves, opposite, spreading, 5-nerved, meeting and clasping on the stem below the weak branches from which the cymes of blossoms arise. 6 to 20 inches high. July and August.
Common in low, moist ground from Maine to Florida and Texas. Found 3,000 feet high in mountains of Virginia. (See illustration, p. 189.)
Weak Or Dwarf St. John's-Wort (Hypericum mutilum)
Color, deep yellow. Sepals and petals, as in others of the genus. Stamens, usually about 12, in 3 groups; sometimes 5 in a single row. Flowers, in leafless, cymose clusters, less than 1/2 inch across. Pods, reddish, longer than the calyx, pointed at top, 1-celled. Leaves, long, narrow, pointed, 3-nerved at base, dotted. Stems, square, straight, upright, 6 to 15 inches high. June to October.
Wet or dry soil over all the Eastern and Middle States and southward. (See illustration, p. 191.)
Canada ST. john's-wort (Hypericum canadense)
H. virgatum. - Color, a coppery yellow. Sepals, leaf-like, remaining and inclosing the ovoid pod. Stamens, usually in 3 distinct clusters. Flowers, scattered on the erect stems, leafless, in racemes. Leaves, oblong or lance-shaped, broad at base and sessile, almost clasping the stem. Branches and stern, 4-angled. 1 to 2 feet high. July to September.
Wet pine barrens from Pennsylvania to Georgia and westward.