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Friends of the Arboretum Native Plant Sale Hypericum kalmianum – St. John’s Wort COMMON NAME: St. John’s Wort, Kalm’s St. John’s Wort SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hypericum kalmianum -­‐ Comes from Greek hyper meaning “above” and eikon meaning “picture”. In the Middle Ages flowers were put above a picture to ward off evil spirits at the midsummer festival of Walpurgisnacht which became known as the Feast of St. John. Kalmianum honors Peter Kalm (1716-­‐1779), a student of Linnaeus. Peter Kalm was commissioned to travel to the North American colonies to look for plants that might be useful to agriculture. He is credited with the first description of Niagara Falls written by a scientist and the first scientific paper on the 17-­‐year cicada. FLOWER: Flattish cluster of 3 to 7 golden yellow flowers at the ends of branching stems BLOOMING PERIOD: Late June to early October SIZE: 2-­‐3 feet tall and 3-­‐4 feet broad BEHAVIOR: Grows in a stout, stiff, rounded and compact form. SITE REQUIREMENTS: Rocky to sandy soils in relatively dry open woods to moist lakeshore areas. Prefers moist rich, calcareous soil and full sun. NATURAL RANGE: Great Lakes region of the U.S. and Canada. In Wisconsin it is found in the areas along Lake Michigan north of Sheboygan and in the central-­‐west counties. SPECIAL FEATURES: It features narrow, dense bluish-­‐green leaves about 2 inches long and in pairs. The flowers mature into beaked, oval, brown seed capsules which often persist on the shrub until spring. In the winter the cinnamon-­‐colored bark peels. SUGGESTED CARE: Needs regular watering. Pruning should be done in winter or very early spring. COMPANION PLANTS: Marsh milkweed, bluejoint grass, boneset, Joe-­‐Pye weed, marsh aster, turtlehead, meadow rue, wild iris, and rattlesnake master