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Shrubby St. John's Wort is a herbaceous, perennial, deciduous or evergreen flowering shrub with a compact, dense habit, dark green leaves, and yellow flowers. It is one of around 400 species of Hypericum, which include herbs, shrubs, and trees, with different bloom times and cultural requirements. In nature, it is often found in open woods, bogs, hedge banks and grassland, dry sunny places, and usually on calcareous soils. The genus name comes from the Greek words hyper meaning above and eikon meaning picture in reference to the practice of hanging flowers from this genus above images, pictures or windows. The specific epithet means many or prolific in reference to the many stamens.
Shrubby St. John's Wort has attractive flowers and foliage. It differs from many other Hypericum spp. by its woody lower stems. It is easy to confuse this species with the woody Hypericum kalmianum (Kalm's St. John's Wort), which is restricted to sandy areas near the Great Lakes (including Lake Michigan in NE Illinois). This latter species has 5-celled seed capsules with 5 style-tips, while Shrubby St. John's Wort has 3-celled seed capsules with 3 style-tips. There are also species of St. John's Wort that have 1-celled seed capsules with singular style-tips; some of these may be slightly woody at the base. A widely cultivated woody species, Hypericum frondosum (Golden St. John' Wort), has larger flowers (greater than 1" across) and wider leaves (greater than Ã¯Â¿Â½" across) than Shrubby St. John's Wort. Golden St. John's Wort is native to the southeastern states, but not Illinois. Another scientific name of Shrubby St. John's Wort is Hypericum spathulatum.
The flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by bumblebees, which collect pollen for their larvae. Other insect visitors that seek pollen from the flowers include Syrphid flies and Halictid bees, but the