Small shrub to 30 cm (1 ft) tall. Bark thin, dark reddish, exfoliating. Leaves opposite, appearing whorled where short axillary branches are present, punctate, entire, sessile, narrowly oblanceolate, evergreen, about 20 mm (0.8 in) long and 4-8 mm (0.15-0.3 in) wide, obtuse or rounded. Flowers 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in) wide, scattered in the axils of the upper leaves, subtended by two narrow bracteoles, sepals 4 (two outer ones 7 mm (0.3 in) long and 4 mm (0.15 in) wide and two inner ones much smaller or absent); petals 4, slightly longer than the outer sepals, yellow; stamens numerous; styles 2. Capsules ovoid, about 5 mm (0.2 in) long.
Distribution: Native to an area from Massachusetts to eastern Kansas, south to Texas, and east to Georgia.
Habitat: Dry upland oak-hickory and oak-pine forests.
NWI status: none
Comment: Hypericum is a Latinization of the old Greek name for a European species of the genus; hypericoides means "resembling Hypericum". (Linnaeus originally named it Ascyrum hypericoides.)
Distribution in Oklahoma:
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Last update: 9/10/99
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