Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spotted St. John's-wort - Hypericum punctatum   Lamarck
Members of Hypericum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Theales » Family Hypericaceae
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AuthorLamarck
DistributionNearly statewide, but scarce and of spotty distribution in the far eastern Coastal Plain, plus a few southern Coastal Plain counties. Possibly occurs in all 100 counties, though probably genuinely absent from a few eastern counties.

Occurs across southeastern Canada and south through most of the eastern US, to southern FL and eastern TX. Range is spotty in the Gulf Coastal Plain.
AbundanceCommon and widespread across the mountains, Piedmont, and most of the northern Coastal Plain. Uncommon in the far eastern and southern Coastal Plain. This and H. gentianoides are the two common and widespread upland herbaceous species of Hypericum in most of the state.
HabitatThis is a species of dry, disturbed soil. It is often seen in abandoned fields, powerline clearings, dry thickets, woodland borders, and very open woods. Though occurring in man-influenced habitats, it is not normally weedy and generally occurs with other native herbs such as composites and native grasses.
PhenologyBlooms and fruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis is a sparingly branched (from upper axils) herbaceaous species growing to 1-2’ on average. It has opposite elliptic leaves with a rounded tip and sessile/clasping bases; leaves average about 1.5-2” long. As the names imply, the leaves are black-spotted (“punctate”), as are the sepals and petals. Many yellow flowers, each about 1/2” across, cover the ends of the branches. The moderately large, rounded leaves that are heavily black-spotted should be enough for easy identification except in the higher mountains, where H. mitchellianum is similar; the latter has mostly unspotted sepals, but you may need to check detailed keys to tell them apart if you are above about 4000 feet in elevation.
Taxonomic CommentsGenerally none, but several references indicate that it hybridizes with to produce H. mitchellianum.

Other Common Name(s)Dotted St. John’s-wort, Black-dotted St. John’s-wort
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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