Shrubby St. John's wort is a low to medium-sized native shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high. The bright yellow flowers with a profusion of yellow stamens look like fireworks. The exfoliating bark and attractive seed capsules add winter interest to the landscape.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Mixed border,
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
Season of Interest:
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
A mounded, 3 to 4 feet high and wide shrub with stiff erect stems.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun to part shade.
Adaptable to most soil pH, including heavy clay.
Flowers on new wood, prune in spring.
Can be short-lived in wet winters.
Disease, pests, and problems
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Drought, clay, rabbit and deer resistant, tolerant of aerial salt spray.
Native geographic location and habitat
Eastern U. S. including IL, IA NJ, and GA.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds, butterflies and bees.
Bark color and texture
Young twigs are slender, gray and ridged, older stems exfoliate exposing a bronzy inner bark.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, linear to lanceolate, 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide bright green leaves.
Very short petiole with leaf-like bracts at base of the leaves.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, 3/4 to 1-inch wide yellow flowers with many showy stamens, borne in terminal or in stem axil in early summer.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A 3-chambered, upright, brown capsule, persistent throughout winter.
Cultivars and related species
Albury Purple Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum 'Albury Purple'): Low mounding, 2 to 3 feet high and wide, rich velvety purple leaf tips, yellow flowers and attractive dark red fruit capsules.