St. John's Wort

St. John's wort is the common name for Hypericum perforatum. It is a five leaved yellow flower that is known for being a stubborn weed, but more importantly it's many medicinal purposes. Hypericum is Greek for "above a picture" and perforatum is Latin for "piercing". The Greek description comes from years of being used as a decoration, often hung above statues, images, and doorways. The Latin description is fitting since the leaves have translucent dots that give it a perforated appearance.

Hypericum perforatum was naturalized in Europe, and gained popularity as a decorative ornament. Soon people began investigating the plant and searching for medicinal uses. Centuries ago St. John's wort was used by old wives, sorcerers, and outlaws to treat their common illnesses. Soon the plant was being used all over the world. Currently it can be found on all continents other than Antarctica.

Since this plant has proved to be so useful in this society this website has been created to inform you on the exciting and multidimensional life of a Hypericum perforatum.

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This website was created by Lauren Beres for an Organismal Biology class at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Last Updated April 10, 2011.