Genus of the Week
Week of September 14-20
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
Family: Guttiferae (or sometimes Hypericaceae)
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:
- There is actually a URL called www.hypericum.com. (Every
genus should be so lucky!) At this site you will find information about Hypericum perforatum,
including its function as an anti-depressant.
- H. cumilicola (Highlands Scrub Hypericum) is a federally endangered species located
in the Southeastern U.S. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has written a species account about it.
- Visit the Natural History of Hiroshima University web site for a picture of
H. patulum, known as "Kinshibai" in Japan.
- Go to Plant Viruses Online to find out more about how H. perforatum is immune to the
Carnation ringspot dianthovirus.
- The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has a page about
H. anagalloides (Bog St. John's Wort), including a photo and a distribution map.
- Forey, Patricia and Ruth Lindsay. An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants. New York, Crescent Books: 1991.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- 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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