Common name: St. Johns Wort
Hypericum perforatum L. APNI*
Description: Erect several-branched herb to shrub to 1 m high.
Leaves usually sessile, ± lanceolate to linear, 10–40 mm long, on axillary shoots usually <10 mm long.
Flowers in either a broad leafy panicle or a cymose corymb, 15–20 mm diam., yellow to orange; petals 7–12 mm long with black marginal glands; stamens in 3 bundles, persistent; anthers with a black apical gland; styles 3.
Capsule 3-valved, 5–10 mm long, striate, brown, often viscid.
Flowering: November to March.
Distribution and occurrence: native of Asia, Eur., Afr.; widely naturalised in N.S.W., mainly from the Coast to Western Slopes.
Grows in disturbed places, often along roads and in pastures.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
Two intergrading varieties were previously considered present in Australia, differing in the size of the leaves: var. perforatum with broad leaves, and var. angustifolium DC. with narrow leaves. H. perforatum subsp. veronense (Schrank) H.Lindb. is the currently recognised taxon naturalised in Australia (see Robson, N.K.B. (2002) Studies in the genus Hypericum L. (Guttiferae). 4(2). Section 9. Hypericum sensu lato (part 2): subsection 1. Hypericum series 1. Hypericum. Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), Bot. 32(2): 61–123). H. perforatum is a widespread weed and can cause photosensitivity in stock. It also has various medicinal uses. Sometimes placed in Clusiaceae.
Text by C. Miller (1990); updated by P.G. Kodela (June 2016, April 2017)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW Vol. 1 (1990)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.