Hypericum punctatum Lam.

Hypericum punctatum plant

Family - Hypericaceae

Stems - Multiple from base, erect, to +60cm tall, herbaceous, green to red, branching above in inflorescence, simple below, from woody rhizome, glabrous, with many black glandular punctations.

Leaves - Opposite, sessile, entire, oblanceolate to oblong, truncate to emarginate or obtuse at apex, 5-6cm long, 1.5cm broad, with many black glandular punctations below and on margins (punctations below lighter in color than those on margins), glabrous, often turning reddish-purple with age.

Hypericum punctatum leaves

Hypericum punctatum leafAbaxial leaf surface.

Inflorescence - Terminal bracteate cymes. Peduncles to 1.5cm long, with multiple black glandular punctations. Flowers sessile or short-pedicillate, each subtended by a small linear bract to 3mm long.

Flowers - Petals 5, yellow with black glandular punctations in lines and dotted, to 5mm long, 1.5mm broad, glabrous, distinct. Stamens many from base of ovary. Filaments 3.2mm long, golden-yellow, glabrous. Anthers yellow, .1mm long. Ovary ovoid, greenish-white, glabrous, 3-locular. Ovules (seeds) many. Styles 3, to +3mm long, glabrous. Stigmas often reddish. Sepals 5, to 3mm long, 1mm broad, glabrous, with distinct vertical venation, with some black glandular punctations.

Hypericum punctatum flower

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Fields, waste ground, moist open woods, moist thickets, prairies, streambanks, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is the smallest flowered member of the genus in Missouri. The flowers only being about 8mm broad. The species is easy to ID because of the prominent black glandular punctations found over most of the plant. The leaves turn a brilliant reddish-purple with age.
According to Steyermark, two varieties can be found in Missouri. The plant described above is variety punctatum. Variety pseudomaculatum (Bush) Fern. has larger flower, glaucous triangular leaves which are acute, and longer styles than var. punctatum. Each of these varieties has two forms also. I won't go into the forms here.

Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 7-1-03.


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