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Reclining St. Andrew's Cross, Multi-stem St. Andrew's-cross, Low St. John's-wort, Straggling St. John's-wort, Decumbent St. Andrew's Cross - Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule


Family: Hypericaceae - St. John's Wort Family Genus Common Name: St. Johns Wort Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Subshrub Shrub
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule - Reclining St. Andrew's Cross, Multi-stem St. Andrew's-cross, Low St. John's-wort, Straggling St. John's-wort, Decumbent St. Andrew's Cross. Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule is classified by most authorities as a separate species of St. John's Wort - Hypericum stragulatum, although ITIS and FNA still list it within the Hypericum hypericoides species. The other (only?) subspecies, Hypericum hypericoides ssp. hypericoides, is a taller, erect plant, up to four feet tall, and has leaves which are widest in the middle, whereas those of ssp. multicaule are widest past the middle toward the end of the leaf. The subspecies name multicaule means many-branched. The species epithet stragulum refers to the reclining, straggling habit of this plant.

Found in:
AL, AR, DC, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

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Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

Distribution of Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule 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, 23 Aug 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, GA Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
While most Hypericum species have five petals, both subspecies of Hypericum hypericoides (and a few other Hypericum species) have four petals. All species in the genus have yellow petals of one shade or another (although I have seen a description calling one apricot.) The petals of Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule are narrow, pointed, and about .5 inches long. They form an elongated X shape, leading to the St. Andrew’s Cross common name.
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
As with most Hypericum there are many stamens, although this species has fewer than many. There are four sepals, with the inner ones being smaller than the outer sepals, seen here with the bud below the open blossom.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The stems of Reclining St. Andrew’s Cross may be up to about 10 inches high. The leaves are about an inch long, opposite, and linear to oblanceolate - wider toward the tip than in the middle.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2013-August-03Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Reclining St. Andrew’s Cross is a short shrub with many branches, forming mats.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

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