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Genus of the Week

Week of September 14-20

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:

Hypericum - St. John's Wort

Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Dilleniidae
Order: Theales
Family: Guttiferae (or sometimes Hypericaceae)
Subfamily: Hypericoideae
Number of Species: At least 15, probably a lot more.
Root: From the Greek "hyper", meaning over, and "con", meaning apparition. For more information, visit Botanical.com.

Plants in the genus Hypericum are known for their herbal properties. One herbal lists the following medicinal effects: astringent, sedative, expectorant, digestive stimulant. This genus is found in several growth forms across the world, from shrubs to low-growing herbs.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Hypericum species:


  1. Forey, Patricia and Ruth Lindsay. An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants. New York, Crescent Books: 1991.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  3. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. New York, Alfred A. Knopf: 1979.

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