This feature plant will put your plant knowledge to the test. Are you up for the challenge?
My flowers were once yellow and sticky,
Without them, IDing might be a bit tricky,
But with some attention, it’s not a hard deed,
Just look out for my 3-capsuled seeds.
A native of Europe, Common St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a spreading perennial that grows throughout the Sea to Sky, especially in fields, roadsides, and other open areas with disturbed soil.
During the summer months, it’s quite easy to identify with its bright yellow flowers and leaves that bear distinctive transparent dots, which are visible when held up to the light. While in the winter it loses its flowers and foliage, it is still possible to identify the dried stalks of Common St. John’s Wort: look for woody, round-stemmed stalks that are 0.3 – 1.0 m tall. Branches are oppositely arranged, topped with reddish-brown, three-parted capsules containing many tiny seeds.
This invasive plant is harmful to our environment, as its aggressive root system aids its spread, displacing native vegetation. Moreover, Common
St. John’s Wort reduces available forage for livestock and wildlife. It even contains a toxin that can cause skin irritation and blistering on both animals and humans.
With all that said, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is, Common St. John’s Wort is so widespread in the Sea to Sky, that SSISC is only able to strategically manage infestations. The good news is, we receive lots of help from our Beetle friends! Indeed, foliar feeding beetles have provided effective control of Common St. John’s Wort in many areas. So next time you pass by Common St. John’s Wort, have a look! You might just see some invasive-fighting beetles hard at work!