Thursday, June 28, 2007

Perforate St Johnswort (Hypericum peforatum)

The new hypericum plant that appeared by Butterfly Rock came into flower this morning and its identity is confirmed as perforate St. Johnswort.

Characteristic features are two ridges along the stems, black glandular dots on the leaves and petals, translucent dots on the leaves and pointed sepals.

Long revered as a herb that could drive off evil spirits, especially around midsummer and St. John's Eve, perforate St John'swort is now widely sold in health shops as an anti-depressant and a medicine for various other afflictions, the main active ingredient being hypericin.

Emthree's other St. Johnswort, the square-stalked, is generally sulking, perhaps because of the attentions of the S J beetle, and the plants are rather stunted, flowerless so far and with distorted leaves.

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