A Midsummer Herb: Saint John’s Wort

Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME: Saint John’s Wort
GENUS:Hypericum
SPECIES:H. calycinum, H. bookerianum, H. patulum
FAMILY: Hypericaceae
BLOOMS: summer
TYPE: perennial
DESCRIPTION: Saint John’s wort is a low-growing, partly woody perennial that produces bright yellow flowers from early summer until frost. The flowers, which measure 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, occur in groups of five to seven. The plant reaches a height of 40 to 60 inches, though dwarf varieties that grow only 18 to 24 inches tall are available. Light green leaves have a silver lining.
CULTIVATION: A hardy plant, Saint Jon’s wort thrives in poor soil and full sun or light shade. The top of the plant might be killed back in severe winter weather but this does not seem to affect its performance since the blossoms appear on new spring growth.

Sun and light are images often associated with Saint John’s wort. The genus was thought to…

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