St John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum

One of the most popular herbs in the world and an easy plant to grow in your garden, St John’s Wort is best known for lifting the spirits.

It is believed to be named after St John the Baptist due to mixed etymology relating to it flowering around St John’s Day on June 24th – as well as the red colour it imparts to a good tincture or infused oil considered as a metaphor of the Saint’s bleeding and the plant’s ability to heal pain.

A relatively common plant in the UK, St John’s Wort can be found in a wide range of habitats, from meadows to open woodland and roadside verges. It grows best in full sun or partial shade in a well-drained, relatively moist, sandy soil. Having said that, it is an adaptable plant and there are probably few places in your garden where it won’t grow. Its bright and cheerful yellow flowers last from sometime around St John’s Day through most of the summer.

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