Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hypericum

In my garden I have one small Hypericum plant. I'm not sure what type it is, mainly because it is a volunteer, not one I planted myself. It is in its second year now and still very small. Its growth is bound to be slow because it is in a position where the soil is very dry and which gets very little sunlight. Nevertheless, I like it, and since it is flowering now I thought I would take a few photos.


When you look closely, the complex bright yellow flowers are very beautiful.


Now look even closer, and you will see a little drama of the natural world in progress. An ant stalks an aphid...


I was looking on the internet at Hypericum varieties, and I saw that this plant is sometimes called "Rose of Sharon", but confusingly so are several other plants! I understand that in the USA the Rose of Sharon is a type of Hibiscus, very different to the Hypericum. How odd.

Extracts of this plant, Hypericum Perforatum, sometimes known as St.John's Wort, are used for several medical purposes, notably the treatment of Depression, but it also has some unwelcome properties - apparently it is listed as a noxious weed in more than twenty countries, as it is very invasive. I shall therefore be keeping a close eye on this univited guest!

9 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful flowers. Great shot.

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  2. David Attenborough eat your heart out!

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  3. It's amazing what drama we can see if we only look close enough.

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  4. It's amazing how many photos of flowers when viewed reveal some sort of minibeast. At least the any will only milk the aphid and not eat it!

    It's great when you get new plants for free.

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  5. It is amazing how much the foliage on your plant differs from the ones we find growing in the wild. Very pretty flowers. I see some red veined sorrel growing there, now that can be an invasive plant...leastwise it is in our gardens if not kept in check.:)

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  6. Beautiful flowers - and definitely not what I found on my recent allotment trip, though I can see why you thought so. I, of course, have the benefit of being able to zoom in on the foliage, which is very different to this. I'd love to grow some hypericum some day though, pretty and useful, a good combination.

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  7. I have Hypericum calycinum; looks pretty much the same as yours.
    H. perforatum is easily to recognize - grows wild in croatia too. If you place the leaf against the sky, you will notice small holes, hence the name 'perforatum'.

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  8. Thank you Mark! We have recently moved and I am trying to identify the hundreds of plants in the garden. Yesterday I managed to identify a lot of what is in the front bed but couldn't identify one paticular plant the features a lot in the garden. You have just done it :-)

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