All about Hypericum – History, Meaning, Facts, Care & More

The genus Hypericum is a type of flowering ornamental plant that can be found in different parts of the world. It offers such a unique beauty whether in a floral arrangement, bouquet or in artistically landscaped garden. The fields look amazing, too, when colored by yellow Hypericum flowers and colorful berries.

Hypericum is referred to as St. John’s Wort. From the Hypericaceae family, it comes in around 400 species of annuals and perennials. They may differ in height and sizes ranging from 2-4 inches high to as tall as 40 feet.

The five-petalled flower of Hypericum comes only in yellow to pale yellow color. All the 400 species are found in the said hue and shade. The bloom has stamens that are bundled together.

  • History of Hypericum

Hypericum is a flowering plant native to the regions of Mediterranean, Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. It was recorded that even Hippocrates recommended its use for the treatment of nervous unrest. It was brought by some colonists to the North America in the early years and became a popular flowering plant in the country for its medicinal purposes. The plant also reached other parts of the world such as Australia, New Zealand, and south America.

There was a myth told about this flowering plant. The devil got very angry with God because He gave people valuable and healthy plants. Because of this, the devil pierced all the leaves of the plant using his tail’s hair. It caused perforations on the leaves, thus it was called Hypericum Perforatum.

  • Hypericum Meaning

It has been named Hypericum Perforatum, Common St. John’s Wort, St. John’s Wort, and Tutsan.  The name “St. John’s Worts” referred to the time when the flower bloomed. It was the feast of St. John the Baptist. The word “wort” was an Anglo-Saxon word that means medicinal herb.

In the Greek word, Hypericum comes from the words “hyper” and “eikon.” Hyper means above and eikon means picture. It referred to the old tradition of hanging plants and flowers above pictures and images.

The flower symbolizes a variety of sentiments and emotions as well. It can be given to someone who is grieving over the death of a loved one or to someone sick and stressed. This flower is also associated with happiness, cheerfulness, and inspiration. It is a perfect gift to someone treading a new path in life.

  • Facts About Hypericum

Hypericum is a flowering shrub that has berries that sometimes in green, red, and black color. The flower has yellow petals, stamens, some tiny black spots, and green perforated leaves. More than just a beautiful flower, hypericum is known for its medicinal benefits. It has been used widely in the world of medicine as traditional alternative medicine. In fact, it is one of the best-sellers among herbal medicines developed throughout the world.

The Hypericum plant was found out in ancient times to have anti-depressive and anti-viral properties. In the modern age, clinical studies showed that it also contains anti-cancer properties. It can help women with menstrual cramps, which was why it was called the women’s herb.

The plant can also help to treat bladder ailment, diarrhea, dysentery, worm ulcers, bruises, wounds, cuts, and burns. Health professionals also recommend hypericum supplements to help patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.

This plant has been turned into a pill for supplement purposes and to a tea. The oil extract from the berries is also used for skin infection or bruises and burns.

On the other hand, it can cause severe problems in health when taken improperly. A person diagnosed with depression and other illnesses needs to consult the physician first before taking the supplement because this herb is not an adjuvant type. It may cause harm to the body when taken with other medications.

  • How to Care for Hypericum

To grow and care for Hypericum, it is important to know that this shrub can grow well in full and in partial sun exposure. The well-drained soil must be sandy and not overly wet to prevent the roots from rotting. The seeds may take long before germination when planted in pots or containers and kept indoors. If you prefer to plant them in the garden, it should be done early spring season or late fall.

Regular watering every day will help the plant grow and become healthy during summer and spring seasons. Mulch can help protect the plant in winter and snowy months. Fertilizer and plant food should also be given at least once each month to keep the plant nourished and fed.

To manage the growth of the plant, pruning is an important procedure but it should be done in the fall or before the snow starts to fall. Hypericum is a kind of plant that can tolerate drought and adapt to zones provided that proper cultivation and care is administered.

As an ornamental plant, Hypericum in its bright yellow blooms and various colors of berries make a wonderful flower arrangement for all occasions and events, especially that it can last for a week or more in vases and cans. The flowers can be added to mixed bouquets while the berries can be used as an ornament to holiday home decorations. No wonder this type of flower is a favorite one among florists all around the world. With its sturdy characteristics, the flowers of Hypericum are even a top choice for wedding flowers and bouquets and for floral decorations.