Hypericum humifusum Hypericaceae Trailing St John's-wort

Hypericum humifusum 21kb

Description - The bright yellow flowers of this small St John's-wort light up our banks and cliffs in June and July. The small oval leaves are set on prostrate reddish stems, and closer examination will reveal translucent dots all over the leaf surface, and black glands on the edges. The flowers also have some black glands on the edges of sepals and petals, and the sepals are unequal sizes, two out of the five being much narrower than the other three.

Habitat - This plant can be found on hedgebanks and in coastal grassland where the surrounding vegetation is not too overwhelming. It is common inland and on the cliffs, alongside the paths and on bareish rocky slopes in more inaccessible areas.

Comments - A common and somewhat variable plant in size, as in taller vegetation it becomes more straggly than the more compact plant seen on the cliffs. It has been confused with the much rarer Toadflax-leaved St John's-wort, Hypericum linariifolium in the past, but this is fairly distinct once you get to know it.

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