Hypericum punctatum (Spotted St. John's-wort)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Hypericaceae (St. John's-wort)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist to dry; meadows, fields, open woods, thickets, stream banks
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 3 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] Dense clusters at the tips of stems and branches. Flowers are deep yellow, 3/8 to 5/8 inch across with 5 oval to oblong petals with blunt tips and conspicuous lines of black dots. The green sepals are similarly black dotted, about half length of the petals, oval to oblong but tapered to a point. 3 styles, often red-tipped, at the top of the round central ovary are surrounded by a spray of slender yellow stamens, many of which are also black-dotted.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are simple, opposite and stalkless to somewhat clasping, oblong to oval elliptic, ¾ to 2¼ inches long, 3/8 to ½ inch wide, toothless, hairless, with 3 to 5 prominent veins. The tip and base are rounded or tapering to a blunt point.

[photo of glands on leaves and stems] New leaves heavily dotted with black glands around the edges and on the underside. Stems are multiple from the base, hairless, erect and mostly unbranched except in the flower cluster.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is an upright, oval to ellipsoid capsule 1/6 to ¼ inch long, reddish to deep purple.


Spotted St. John's-wort is by and large restricted to SE Minnesota with a few scattered collections in central Minnesota as far north as Cass County. The small, densely clustered flowers with heavily black dotted petals and sepals as well as black glandular dots on the terminal leaves easily distinguishes it from all other Hypericum species found in the state. While the invasive Common St. John's-wort (H. perforatum) does have black-dotted flowers, its leaves have translucent dots rather than black.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken from garden cultivated plants in Ramsey County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Nicholas - Minneapolis
on: 2016-06-24 15:06:12

There's a patch of Hypericum growing near the corner of Stinson Ave and Hennepin near the Fairview offices. Wonderful plant.

Posted by: Jacqueline Byers - Edina
on: 2023-07-08 14:46:48

Just discovered some growing in my yard in Edina. Always happy to find a newcomer that is native.

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