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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- St. Johnswort, Common (Hypericum perforatum) -

(St. Johnswort - 01)  There are approximately 35 known species of St. Johnswort in the United States, most of which are in the East.  We believe this one is the common St. Johnswort, which grows in height from 1 to 2-1/2 feet.




(St. Johnswort - 01a)  One of the characteristics of the St. Johnswort is that the erect main stem most often has opposite growing branches, particularly near the top of the plant.  The numerous oblong leaves also grow opposite one another.





(St. Johnswort - 01b)  The five petaled flowers of the St. Johnswort each measure about 3/4 of an inch in diameter.  There are usually several flowers growing or developing in a cyme at the end of the branches and stem.  As an example, on the left side of the photo is a branch with one open flower and several buds.




(St. Johnswort - 02)  The St. Johnswort flowers have one pistil with three styles and numerous stamens.  The edges of the petals have small black dots.




(St. Johnswort - 02a)  A native of Asia, St. Johnswort was imported to the United States by European emigrants, some of whom used to collect the plants on St. John's Eve, June 24th, and hang them on their doors to ward off evil spirits.  The dew, as shown in this photo, was collected in the morning of St. John's Day because it was believed that it was a good eye lotion.




(St. Johnswort - 03)  This photo affords us a closer look at the St. Johnswort flowers with their five petals, pistil, and numerous stamens.




(St. Johnswort - 03a)  We find the intricate detail of God's creation to be amazing.  In this bee's eye view of the center of the St. Johnswort flower, we can see the three styles of the pistil emanating from the ovary and reaching out among the numerous stamens to ensure pollination.  One style is reaching out in the 10:30 position, another in the 2:00 position, and the third in the 5:00 position of this photo.



(St. Johnswort - 03b)  In this close up view of another St. Johnswort flower, we noted that there appear to be only 2 styles in the pistil, but what may be a third style appears to be coming out in the 4:00 position.





(St. Johnswort - 04)  In this bee's eye view we can clearly see the three styles of the pistil growing from the ovary (lower left of photo).  In the upper right of the photo, we get a good look at the black dots along the edge of the petal.  The literature didn't identify the composition of these black dots; but the black dots on the leaves contain oil, which we suspect these do, too.  The oil was extracted for healing wounds and skin irritations. The flowers and seeds were boiled into a tea to help heal urinary problems.



| Wild Flowers of SHL | Art and Photos |

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman

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2002-2003 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link .

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