I confess that I was excited about this type of flower, St. John’s-Wort, which has been present in my vocabulary since Bob ran a health food store/co-op in southern West Virginia in the 1980s. Good for depression, I heard, but never expected to run into it in my neighborhood.
But here it is. St. John’s-Wort. It’s so showy, kicking out its petals and letting its stamens flounce and bounce.
Here’s why I’m disappointed. This is the Common variety: Hypericum perforatum, also known as an invasive, nonnative weed. I was hoping it was Kalm’s St. John’s-Wort, Hypericum kalmianum, native to the Great Lakes with a possible pre-glacial origin (see Cochrane, Elliot, & Lipke, Prairie Plants of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum).
I am hunting for native plants. I want to see and touch the remnants of the past. I’m beginning to think that our landscape here in Manitowoc has been completely colonized. Still, it’s hard not to feel some fondness for a plant that has so many purposes. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine can tell you what they are. Meanwhile, get a load of those stamens. Beautiful.