Hypericum perforatum L. - St. John's Wort
Family - Hypericaceae
Stems - Multiple from base, from thick rhizomes, to +1m tall, dichotomously branching (branches decussate), glabrous, glaucous. Midrib of leaf decurrent on stem and with black glandular punctations.
Leaves - Opposite, decussate, sessile, lance-ovate to oblong or elliptic, entire, to +1.8cm long, +7mm broad, entire, acute to obtuse, glabrous, glaucous (mostly below), with black glandular punctations on margins and a few scattered on the leaf tissue, perforate.
Inflorescence - Terminal bracteate cymes. Pedicels to 2mm long, glabrous (or flowers sessile).
Flowers - Petals (4)5, yellow, spreading, to 1.3mm long, 6mm broad, oblong, obtuse, with black glandular punctations. Stamens many (+50), erect to spreading. Filaments yellow, 7-8mm long, glabrous. Anthers biglobose, .7mm broad. Styles 3, spreading, 6mm long, glabrous, yellow. Ovary superior, glabrous, 3.5mm long, 2.1mm in diameter, ovoid, 3-locular, ovules (seeds) many. Sepals 5, linear, 5-6mm long, 1.1mm broad, acuminate, glabrous, with perforations adjacent and parallel to midrib.
Flowering - May - September.
Habitat - Pastures, fields, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - Feeling depressed?
Chew on this. Not! Seriously though, this is the species known commonly
as "St. John's Wort", which has recently been over-used as an herbal remedy
for the symptoms of depression. Traditionally the plant was used as an
antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory, and a host of other ailments. One
of the active ingredients, hypericin, causes photodermatitis in some people
Photographs taken in Pictured Rocks National Seashore, MI., 7-22-02.