Scrub St. John's Wort (Hypericum reductum)
There are over 20 species of St. John's worts native to Florida. Most are perennials, some are annuals, and some are 10' tall and almost tree-like. This one is a woody shrub, 1' tall, with a 2-4' spread, and with needle-like leaves. It occurs in scrubs and dry flatwoods throughout central Florida. Like many scrub plants, and unlike most St. John's worts, scrub St. John's wort is dome-shaped and has aromatic foliage. Whether this species shares the antidepressant properties of the European species, H. perforatum, is not known. (However most people are cheered up when they see it in full bloom, covered with hundreds of yellow flowers!) This beautiful shrub deserves a place in the home landscape. It needs full sun, light sandy soil, and once established, no supplemental watering. Scrub St. john's wort is available from several nurseries in Florida.