The common St. John's-wort comes to us from Europe credited with many virtues, but you could never induce a practical farmer to see anything in it but an obnoxious yellow peril-a vampire weed, self-commissioned to exhaust his soil. The ancients however, who were ever bent on making the best of earthly matters, held it in high repute, as a medicine plant. They believed that the dew which accumulated upon this plant during the night preceding St. John's Day, the twenty-fourth of July, possessed peculiar qualities that would preserve failing eyesight. Parts of the plant furnished them with a family cure-all for various bodily ailments, but it was most highly esteemed as a remedy for wounds and bruises, a purpose for which it is still being used. A preparation formerly called "balm of the warrior's wound" is made by reducing the tops to a pulp in olive oil. When crushed the leaves have an agreeable odour, somewhat like balsam. The juice is acrid, and has a bitter taste. In rural England and Germany windows and doors were decorated with St. John's-wort on the eve of St. John's Day, with the supposition that it would prevent the entrance of evil spirits. German women wore it in an amulet about their necks, and in Scotland it was carried about in the pockets as a guard against witchcraft. In Europe there is a popular notion that its presence averts destruction by lightning. The smooth, slender and much branched, leafy stalk rises from one to two feet in height, and has many barren shoots at its base. The thin-textured, oblong or linear leaves have a rounding point, and are arranged in opposite pairs. The edges are entire, and the under surface is often spotted with tiny black specks. Between the conspicuous ribbings, the texture is thickly dotted with very fine specks that, when held to the light, show transparently, exactly as if they had been pricked with a needle point. The light green calyx has four lance-shaped sepals. The bright deep yellow flowers are frequently an inch broad. The five petals are usually oblique or contorted, and are finely notched along one side to the tip, in a singular manner. Their surface is more or less covered with tiny black specks, particularly along the margins. Numerous yellow stamens radiate from the three-pronged, light green pistil, in three sets. The flowers are grouped in several or many open terminal clusters, and they continue to blossom throughout the season. When they first open they are very showy and attractive, but as they fade, the petals wither to a rusty brown. They do not drop off, and consequently lend an unsightly appearance to the otherwise beautiful flowers, with which they are freely mingled. St. John's-wort is common in fields and waste places from June to September, but is less common in the South. It is also native to Asia.