Hairy St John's-wort - Hypericum hirsutum


The only species of St John's-wort that has roughly hairy leaves and hairy stems and that does not grow in bogs. It is a medium to tall erect plant. The round section stem has two raised lines. The leaves have translucent dots but no marginal black glands. Flowers are pale yellow and sometimes red-veined borne in a lax many flowered panicle. The sepals are covered in tiny black spots.

Similar Species

Other St John's-worts. See ID Aids below.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

H hirsutum is the only species with hairy stems and leaves that is recorded in VC55.

Identification aids

The St John's Wort (Hypericum) family are attractive, yellow-flowered perennials. They can look confusingly similar but can be distinguished by careful examination of key features. A hand-lens may be required (depending how good your eyesight is!). The leaf perforations are visible as translucent dots if the leaf is held up to the light.

Hypericum guide


Recording advice

A photograph of the plant in its habitat


Woodland, scrub and rough grassland and railway verges.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread records from most of Britain except the north of Scotland and western England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 108 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map