Hypericum punctatum

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spotted St. John's-wort[1]

Hypericum punctatum
Hypericum punctatum SEF.jpg
Photo by the Southeastern Flora Plant Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Theales
Family: Clusiaceae
Genus: Hypericum
Species: H. punctatum
Binomial name
Hypericum punctatum
Natural range of Hypericum punctatum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Hypericum punctatum var. punctatum[2]

Varieties: Hypericum punctatum Lamarck; Hypericum subpetiolatum E.P. Bicknell ex Small[2]


H. punctatum is a perennial forb/herb of the Clusiaceae family native to North America.[1]


H. punctatum is found throughout the eastern United States and up into Eastern Canada, specifically Ontario and Quebec.[1]



H. punctatum has a low drought tolerance and high shade tolerance.[1] It is commonly found in fields and woodland borders.[2] This species also has a low tolerance for calcium carbonate.[3] Specimens of H. punctatum have been collected from upland pinelands that are annually burned, and other similar sandhill habitats that are well-drained.[4] It has also been recorded in outcrop oak-hickory forests.[5]


Flowers bloom between June and September.[1][2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[6]

Fire ecology

H. punctatum is not a fire-resistant forb, but rather mildly tolerant.[1] A study in the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia found this species present in areas that were commonly cut-burned.[7] Another study in dry sandstone barrens found this plant to increase by 75% in size, and increase 250% in occurrences after a fire disturbance.[8]


This species is considered by pollination ecologists to be of special value to bumble bees since the flowers attract such large numbers.[3] More specifically, this species has been observed to host bees such as Bombus bimaculatus (family Apidae) and sweat bees such as Lasioglossum hitchensi (family Halictidae).[9]

Herbivory and toxicology

It has been recorded to be eaten by white-tailed deer.[10]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

It is considered vulnerable in the Canadian province Quebec, critically imperiled in Nebraska, and an exotic species in the Canadian province Newfoundland.[11]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  3. 3.0 3.1 [[1]] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: May 28, 2019
  4. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: May 2019. Collectors: Wilson Baker, Robert K. Godfrey, Jeffrey M. Kane, Roy Komarek, and R. A. Norris. States and Counties: Florida: Leon. Georgia: Thomas.
  5. Bostick, P. E. (1971). "Vascular Plants of Panola Mountian, Georgia " Castanea 46(3): 194-209.
  6. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  7. McKinley, C. E. and F. P. Day (1979). "Herbaceous production in cut-burned, uncut-burned and control areas of Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) BSP (Cupressaceae) stand in the Great Dismal Swamp." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 106: 20-28.
  8. Taft, J. B. (2003). "Fire effects on community structure, composition, and diversity in a dry sandstone barrens." Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130: 170-192.
  9. Discoverlife.org [2]
  10. Atwood, E. L. (1941). "White-tailed deer foods of the United States." The Journal of Wildlife Management 5(3): 314-332.
  11. [[3]] NatureServe Explorer. Accessed: May 28, 2019