Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canadian St. John's-wort - Hypericum canadense   L.
Members of Hypericum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Theales » Family Hypericaceae
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AuthorL.
DistributionAn unusual bimodal range in the state. It is found primarily in the Coastal Plain, where it occurs over most of the southwestern half of the province, and also near the VA line. It occurs in the mountains, and is found in most counties there. There are only a handful of records for the lower Piedmont.

Despite the scientific and common names, it is not strictly a Northern species. It ranges from eastern Canada south to northern FL and southern MS. However, it is scarce in most states west of the Appalachians.
AbundanceInfrequent to fairly common in the southwestern half of the Coastal Plain, but quite rare in the northeastern half of the province, and likely absent in the far eastern counties. Uncommon to fairly common in the mountains, but very rare in the Piedmont, where mainly limited to eastern counties.
HabitatThis is a wetland species, found mostly in ditches, wet meadows, bogs, marshy areas, and savannas. It prefers areas of full sun.
PhenologyBlooms from July to September, and fruits shortly after blooming.
IdentificationThis is a slender-stemmed deciduous, herbaceous species with some ascending branches from the upper part of the stem, which reaches only to about 10-15” tall. It has small opposite leaves, linear and entire, and only about 1-1.5” long. There are about two other Hypericum species with similar short and slender stature; H. mutilum has small but widely elliptic and obtuse leaves, whereas H. gymnanthum has ovate to nearly triangular leaves that are sessile and clasping at the base. Each of these has small yellow flowers less than ¼” across, and only a small number blooming at a given time. As it is such a small and slender species, when not in bloom the casual botanist can easily overlook this species.
Taxonomic CommentsKnown to hybridize with H. mutilum.

Other Common Name(s)Lesser St. John’s-wort, Canada St. John’s-wort
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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