Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Atlantic St. John's-wort - Hypericum tenuifolium   Pursh
Members of Hypericum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Theales » Family Hypericaceae
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AuthorPursh
DistributionFound throughout the southeastern 45% of the Coastal Plain, but apparently not reaching west to the Sandhills region. Found north to Craven and Wayne counties, and west to Cumberland County.

This is a strictly lower Coastal Plain species, ranging north to southeastern NC and south to southern FL; it ranges west to southern MS.

AbundanceFairly common to locally common, though likely scarce and local in the northernmost counties.
HabitatThis is a species of sandy pinelands, and it can be found from drier habitats such as Sand Barrens and Xeric Sandhill Scrub, to slightly moist sites such as pine flatwoods (but normally not in savannas). In general, it inhabits drier sites than the very similar H. brachyphyllum, though the species have been found in close proximity in some places in the state.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September.
IdentificationThis is a low, somewhat decumbent shrub, growing only to about 1’ tall, with some erect stems. As a result of its low growth, it is widely branched from the base and looks wider than tall, often occurring in clumps. The opposite leaves are needle-like and often in whorls or with many in leaf axils, and leaves are normally less than 1/2” long. The many yellow flowers are about 1/2” across, making this low plant quite attractive when in bloom. It is most easily separated from the rare H. brachyphyllum by its narrow and pointed capsules that are 6-9 mm long (close to 1/3” long); the latter has short ovoid capsules only 3-4.5 mm long.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species was, until recently, named as H. reductum. Recent references (such as Weakley 2018) have renamed the species as H. tenuifolium.

Other Common Name(s)Sandhill St. John’s-wort, Scrub St. John’s-wort. This plant has gone with two or three common names, almost equally. Considering the dozens of species of Hypericum found in the Southeastern Coastal Plain region, none of these three common names rules out most or all others.
State RankS4
Global RankG5
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