November 22, 2017

Rays of Light

Hypericum - St. John's wort

Janine Pineo Photo | Hypericum – St. John’s wort

A little burst of sunshine is what you’ll find in every blossom of Hypericum, the genus known as St. John’s wort. There are nearly 400 species in the genus, with a distribution across North America, Europe, China, Russia, India and Brazil. Pictured is a shrub variety of Hypericum that grows about 4 feet tall. New plants spring up from the root zone every few years, and left unchecked, it can create a hedge. Bees and other pollinators are readily attracted to the plant when in full bloom, covered in scores of yellow flowers with puffs of rays in the the center. One variety of St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum, has been used for centuries to treat depression. Scientists have long debated whether its use as an herbal medicine helps or hurts. All we know is that the plant in full bloom is sunshine on a cloudy day.

Hypericum - St. John's wort

Janine Pineo Photo | Hypericum – St. John’s wort