Scientific name

Hypericum L.

Common names

pale St. John's-wort, elliptic-leaved St. John's-wort, creeping St. John's-wort, few-flowered St. John's-wort



Native distribution

eastern North America

Species cultivated

not currently cultivated

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

not weedy


amphibious, emergent, or temporarily submerged small to medium stem plant

Brief description

Rhizomes prominent. Stem erect, simple or with few branches, slightly 4-angled, glabrous. Leaves opposite, decussate; sessile; leaf blade simple, oval to elliptic; apex obtuse; base cuneate; margins entire. Inflorescence a terminal and/or subterminal cyme. Flowers nearly sessile, typically 5-merous, yellow. Sepals oblanceolate-obovate, apex obtuse, slightly shorter than petals, persistent; petals elliptic to oblong, apex obtuse; stamens numerous, yellow; carpels 3, styles 3 united below, stigmas minute.

Natural habitat

moist sandy soil; shores of rivers, streams, and lakes, marshes, swamps, bogs, wetland margins, wet ditches, meadows and fields

Additional comments

Hypericum contains over 450 species. H. ellipticum Hook. is an amphibious species. A sterile submersed form is known, which has simple stems and feather-veined leaves.