Perforate St John's-wort - Hypericum perforatum


Short to tall, hairless, erect plant. Stems round with 2 raised lines, spreading and rooting at the base. Leaves opposite, linear to oval, unstalked, with large translucent dots. Flowers yellow, 18 to 22 mm in broad panicles, the petals with numerous black dots, mostly around the edges. Sepals narrow, with or without black glands, much shorter than the petals.

Similar Species

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

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stem with 2 ridges; leaves with translucent glands (hold the leaf up to the light); sepals equal; some black glands on petals, sepals and leaves

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 photo of the plant in its habitat and confirmation that leaves have translucent glands


Rough grassland, road verges and hedgebanks.

When to see it

May to September.

Life History


UK Status

Common throughout much of Britain, but rare in central and northern Scotland.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 305 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map