Hypericum hirsutum | ‘Hairy St John’s Wort’ | Seeds
A flowering grassland perennial commonly known as the ‘Hairy St John’s Wort’, Hypericum hirsutum is a downy-stemmed plant of the genus Hypericum which is native to Western Europe.
Given suitable growing conditions, Hypericum hirsutum averages roughly sixty to ninety centimetres in height, producing erect stems and forming pairs of elongated oval leaves (hairy on both sides) with translucent to black dots along their margin. From around July to September, hirsutum puts out lovely five-petal, pale-yellow to butter-yellow flowers, before dying back for the winter.
Hypericum hirsutum prefers to grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10, where it can be found in well-drained, chalky, clay or limy grassland riverbanks, roadside verges and woodland clearings. The species is often confused with both Hypericum perforatum (the common ‘St John’s Wort’, from which it can be told apart by its noticeably longer leaves and round, hairy stems) and Hypericum elodes (the ‘Marsh St John’s Wort’, which can be distinguished from hirsutum by the lack of black dots on its sepal margins).
As with all of the ‘St John’s Wort’ complex, it’s relatively easy to grow hirsutum from seed on open ground, using neutral to basic soil. Autumn is a good time to sow – it may also be worth soaking the seed a little prior to sowing, in an effort to mimic the natural erosion of the seed’s built-in inhibitors.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018-2019