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Glade St. John's Wort; Straggling St. Johnswort - Hypericum dolabriforme


Family: Hypericaceae - St. John's Wort Family Genus Common Name: St. John's Wort Native Status: NativePerennial Herb
Hypericum dolabriforme - Glade St. John's Wort; Straggling St. Johnswort. Some authorities continue to include the Hypericum genus in the plant family Clusiaceae (including the USDA Plants Database,) but relatively recent molecular studies have resulted in establishment of the Hypericaceae family, for which Hypericum is the type genus, although there are at least two other genera in that new classification. It should be noted that at least one of those, the genus Triadenum, is composed of species that have been classified in the genus Hypericum at one time or another, so perhaps the new family Hypericaceae is comprised of what was the Hypericum genus, which is now further broken down into multiple genera.

Hypericum dolabriforme is found only in 5 states, unlike a similar species, Hypericum sphaerocarpum, which is found in 19 states throughout the central portion of the United States, as well as in Ontario, Canada. In addition to likely being less erect, some feature differences between H. dolabriforme and H. sphaerocarpum are noted in the photo descriptions below.

Found in:
AL, GA, IN, KY, TN

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Hypericum dolabriforme

Distribution of Hypericum dolabriforme in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 22 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-15Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The yellow blossoms of Hypericum dolabriforme will have 120 or more stamens. Similar species Hypericum sphaerocarpum has 85 or fewer, perhaps under 50.
Hypericum dolabriforme

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-15Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The five yellow petals of Hypericum dolabriforme are each greater than .35” long. Those of Hypericum sphaerocarpum are under .35”.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum dolabriforme

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-September-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The yellow blossoms of Hypericum dolabriforme will have 120 or more stamens. Similar species Hypericum sphaerocarpum has 85 or fewer, perhaps under 50.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum dolabriforme

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-15Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
I’ve read different “maximum normal height” figures for the Glade St. John’s Wort, from 18” to 30”. None of the dozens of plants in the area where I photographed these were any taller than 18”, even considering their sprawl.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum dolabriforme

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-15Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Hypericum dolabriforme are opposite, and may be up to 1.6” long, although while blooming most of them are likely to be less than an inch long. There is a distinct central vein, but no lateral veins. Hypericum sphaerocarpum has longer leaves, up to 2.8 inches long, and will likely have lateral veins on them.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum dolabriforme

Site: Cedar Glade, Pigeon Mountain East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-July-15Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Hypericum dolabriforme fruits forming.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum dolabriforme

References used for identification and information:

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer