Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Roundpod St. John's-wort - Hypericum cistifolium   Lamarck
Members of Hypericaceae:
Members of Hypericum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Theales » Family Hypericaceae
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DistributionPresent over nearly all of the southern two-thirds of the Coastal Plain, north to Johnston, Pitt, and Dare counties. It is not known from north of Albemarle Sound.

This is a species limited to the Southern Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains. It ranges north to eastern NC, south through FL, and west to eastern TX. There are a few records for outside the Coastal Plain; these are in northern GA and northern AL.
AbundanceFrequent to common, probably more so in the southern portions of the range, where there are more savannas and flatwoods than farther north.
HabitatThis is a characteristic shrub of pine savannas, wet pine flatwoods, ditches, and other pine dominated wetlands in sunny and moist conditions. it is not a marsh or swamp species nor is it typically found in shallow water.
PhenologyBlooms from June to August, and fruits shortly thereafter.
IdentificationThis is a deciduous shrub that grows to about 2-2.5 feet tall, with scattered upright branches in the upper half of the plant. It has entire, opposite leaves that are widely linear to narrowly elliptic, sessile, and have revolute margins, somewhat dark green and leathery; they grow to about 1.5 inches long. Notable characters are that the leaves tend to grow angled upward from the stem, in a virgate manner, and there are typically a few smaller leaves in the axils. Observers ought to be able to identify the species by its leaf and stem characters, though the equally numerous H. galioides can grow near it; that species has linear (slightly narrower) leaves that grow at right angles to the stem, and an inflorescence that is longer than wide (a tubular shape). Hypericum cistifolium has a broad and more open inflorescence that is gently rounded. Both have the characteristic 5-petaled yellow flowers characteristic of the genus.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Though “Roundpod” isn’t a helpful name for most biologists, as the pods are often not seen, this seems to be the only common name that has been used. Sometimes there are simply so many species in a genus that grow in similar places as others, such as Hypericum species in the Coastal Plain, that a unique or good common name has never “stuck”.
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieCarolina Beach SP, natural depression pond, Aug 2013. New HanoverPhoto_natural
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