Golden St. John's Wort puts on an explosive display of bright yellow flowers in mid-summer that lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. This shrubby, round shrub has stiff, upright branching, blue-green narrow foliage that turns reddish purple in the fall. The exfoliating bark and persistent seed capsules add winter interest to the landscape.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small shrub (3-5 feet),
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer
Size & form
A shrubby, upright to rounded shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil.
Drought tolerant once established.
Plants benefit with winter protection. May die back to ground in harsh winters.
Plants flower on new wood, prune in spring.
Disease, pests, and problems
Leaf spots can be a problem.
Native geographic location and habitat
Southeastern U.S. to TX
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Bees and birds.
Bark color and texture
Exfoliating outer reddish-brown bark with a thin bronze color inner bark.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Oblong, narrow, linear leaves, 1 to 11/2 inches long, blue-green.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Large 5-petaled flowers about 1 1/2 inches across with dense bushy stamens.
Flowers bloom mid-summer for 3 to 4 weeks.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A reddish-brown narrow fruit capsule ripens in September and persists into winter.
Cultivars and their differences
Sunburst Golden St. John's Wort (Hypericum frondosum 'Sunburst'): A 3 to 4 feet high and wide, stiffly branches shrub with rich yellow flowers, blue-green foliage and reddish brown fall color.