Stems herbaceous, 2 to 5 feet tall from a perennial root, angled, branching and smooth. Leaves sessile, ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 5 inches long and three-fourths to 1 ½ inches wide, clasping the stem. Flowers bright yellow, showy, 1 to 2 inches broad, few or several in a loose, terminal cluster. Sepals five, ovate-lanceolate, about one-half of an inch long, pointed; petals five, obovate or oblanceolate; stamens numerous, united into five sets. Styles usually five in number, united below, the stigmas capitate. Fruit pod ovoid in shape, three-fourths to seven-eighths of an inch long.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
A. Great Or Giant Saint John' S-Wort - Hypericum ascyron
Chiefly along streams, Quebec to Vermont and Manitoba south to Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Missouri. Flowering in July and August.
The St Peter's-wort (Ascyrum stans Michaux) and the St Andrew's Cross (Ascyrum hypericoides Linnaeus), two small, leafy, shrubby species of the coastal region, differ from the species of Hypericum by having four instead of five petals, as pointed out above in the key to the species of the family.