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Hairy St Johns-wort

A tall member of the St John's wort family growing in opwn woodland and woodland edges mainly on chalk soils.



  • Hairy St Johns-wort: the hairy hypericum

    Post date: Tuesday, 28 April, 2015 - 00:00

    I have included hairy St John's wort (Hypericum hirsutum) in my series on woodland flowers but, in truth, it could have been included elsewhere as in addition to open woodland rides and woodland edges it occurs on river banks, in ditches and along hedgerows. It has a preference for lime-based soils and so, in Dorset, my perception is that it is most likely to be found in woodland on the chalk.

    At first one might mistake it for yellow loosestrife; it is a tall plant with spikes of large, pale yellow flowers. On closer inspection, however, it can be seen to be quite different in many ways and that it bears the hallmarks of the Hypericum family; opposite, rounded leaves and five pointed petals with pronounced stamens.  Yellow loosestrife likes damper conditions too.

    This plant is the only St John's wort or Hypericum to have a downy covering of hairs on the stems and leaves, hence its name, hirsutum means hairy.


Common Name Hairy St Johns-wort
Scientific Name Hypericum hirsutum
Species Group St Johns Wort Family Hypericaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family St Johnswort Family - Hypericaceae
Status Restricted
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
Preferred Environment
Look for Tall plant with spikes of star shaped flowers
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

St Johns Wort Family Hypericaceae