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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
Genus Hypericum L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 783. 1753
Note TYPE: H. perforaturn L.
Description Trees, shrubs or perennial to annual herbs, glabrous or with simple hairs, with glandular canals or locules containing resins (amber), essential oils (pellucid) and often hypericin and pseudohypericin (black or red). Leaves opposite, entire, rarely gland fringed, sessile or shortly petiolate, the venation subparallel or variously reticulate, pellucid or dark glands present on lamina or margins. Inflorescences 1-many-flowered, usually dichasial, terminal and some- times also axillary, with branches regularly bracteate and bracteolate, sometimes foliate; the bracts often foliaceous; pedicels usually present. Flowers homostylous or rarely heterostylous, the perianth usually radiate to cupulate; sepals 5, quin- cuncial, or occasionally 4 and decussate, glandular like the leaves; petals 5(4), contorted in bud, yellow to orange or rarely white, often tinged or veined with red in areas exposed in bud, usually asymmetric, variously glandular, deciduous or persistent, glabrous; stamen fascicles free, variously united or sometimes ap- parently absent, deciduous or persistent, glabrous, each with many to few
Habit Trees, shrubs or perennial to annual herbs
Description stamens, or rarely reduced to 1 stamen, the filament slender, usually free almost to the base, the anther oblong or elliptic with an amber or dark gland on the connective; staminodial fascicles absent or rarely 3, glabrous; ovary glabrous, 3-5-locular with axile placentas or completely unilocular with (2-)3-5 parietal placentas, each placenta with 2-many ovules, the styles (2-)3-5, free or partly to completely united, glabrous, the stigma small or broadly capitate. Fruit a septicidal capsule, occasionally fleshy and tardily dehiscent, the (2-)3-5 valves often with resin-containing vittae or vesicles, 1-many-seeded; seeds small, the testa variously sculptured, often carinate or winged, the embryo slender, straight, with distinct straight cotyledons.
Note Hypericum is a genus of ca. 400 species distributed throughout most meso- phytic parts of the world except the lowland tropics, but most abundant in temperate regions. The least specialized species are arborescent and occur in Africa, but most of the genus consists of shrubs or perennial herbs. Many species of Hypericum are cultivated in other countries, mostly as flowering shrubs or alpines. Otherwise the main economic importance of the genus derives from its contained hypericin, which renders hairless parts of the muzzles of browsing animals photosensitive, producing "hypericism," an often fatal condition.
Reference Robson, N. K. B. 1977. Studies in the genus Hypericum L. (Guttiferae). 1. Infrageneric classification. Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), Bot. 5: 293-347. Rodriguez Jimenez, C. 1975. Recherches sur Hypericum L. section Brathys (Mutis ex L.f.) Choisy sous-section Spachium Keller (Guttiferae). Mem. Soc. Ci. Nat. La Salle 33: 5-151.
Key a. Shrublet; all internodes shorter than the leaves; leaves coriaceous; inflorescence mostly monochasial or mixed bracteate and foliate, not regularly dichasial; styles 1.3-1.5 times as long as the ovary; capsule shorter than the sepals ...... 1. H. gnidioides aa. Perennial to annual herb; upper internodes longer than the leaves; leaves coriaceous; inflorescence usually regularly dichasial at first, becoming monochasial; styles not longer than the ovary; capsule 1.3-2.0 times as long as the sepals ...... 2. H. silenoides
 
 
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