Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Hairy St. John's-wort - Hypericum setosum   L.
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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AuthorL.
DistributionStrictly a Coastal Plain species, ranging essentially across the southern 75% of the province, but of spotty occurrence near the VA border and in the far northeastern region around Albemarle Sound.

As expected, this species is essentially limited to the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, ranging north to southeastern VA and south to central FL and west barely to eastern TX. There are a few outlier records in northern AL.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills, but rare to uncommon in the northern parts of the province. Most widespread and numerous in the pine savanna region from Croatan National Forest (Craven and Carteret counties) to the SC border.
HabitatThis is one of the relatively few herbaceous Hypericum species occurring in pine savannas, its primary habitat, but it also can be found in ditches, seepages, wet pine flatwoods, and other wetlands, mostly associated with acidic soils and pinelands.
PhenologyBlooms and fruits from May to September, somewhat earlier than most other Hypericum species.
IdentificationThis is a quite slender herbaceous species that is either unbranched or sparsely branched near the summit; it only reaches about 1 foot in height on average. It has a highly distinctive growth form, in that the small, generally elliptical leaves are so ascending that they practically clasp the stem vertically; at a distance, the plant appears to have no leaves at all, just a thick-looking stem, with no or very few branches! The stem and leaves are also quite hairy, giving it its common name. As with other St. John’s-worts, it has five bright yellow flowers, all growing at the top of the stem. This is one Hypericum that should give people little trouble in identification owing to its oddly clasping leaves; thankfully, it is often encountered, at least when walking through high quality habitats such as pine savannas and wet pine flatwoods.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS4
Global RankG4G5
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B.A. SorrieWalthour Moss Foundation, natural streamhead seepage, late July 2012. MoorePhoto_natural

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