Tipton's weed, chase-devil, or Klamath weed
Clusiaceae – Mangosteen family
A perennial herbaceous/woody plant
Up to 1 meter in height
It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves which are
12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in
color, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and
occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Leaves
exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light,
giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant's Latin
Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section. The lower
portion of the stem is woody, while the upper section is
Extensive creeping rhizomes
Spring and early to mid Summer. The name St. John's Wort
comes from the fact that it flowers on or about June 28th,
or St. John's day.
Its yellow, five
petaled flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and
are colored bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The ends of
the flower petals are often tinged with red. The flowers
appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches. The sepals are pointed, with
glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are
united at the base into three bundles.
When flower buds
(not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a
reddish/purple liquid is produced. When the plant is at its most
potent, crushing the flowers between your fingers will result in
purple, or even blackish staining.
is a yellow-flowering perennial herb indigenous to Europe, which has
been introduced to many temperate areas of the world and grows wild in
many meadows. The common name comes from its traditional flowering and
harvesting on St John's day, 24 June. The genus name Hypericum is
derived from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture), in
reference to the traditional use of the plant to ward off evil, by
hanging plants over a religious icon in the house during St John's day.
The species name perforatum refers to the presence of small oil glands
in the leaves that look like windows, which can be seen when they are
held against the light.
Transplant to waste areas, meadows, roadsides, and
other open areas.
Flowering plant tops. The herbaceous part of
the flowing plant is said to be used, but I typically use just the
flowers and leaves above the woody base of each stem.
Wild Food Uses:
The following text is
meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or
treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other
qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of
any illness or injury.
John's Wort has emerged as the best selling herbal remedy for
Depression. Outselling Prozac by 20 to 1 in Germany, where it is
approved for use in the treatment of mild to moderate forms of
depression. It is also used to treat nerve pain. There is
anecdotal evidence which shows it to be effective at repairing
neuropathways, and regenerating nerve tissue. It has also been
shown to have antimicrobial properties. It has been shown to kill
staphylococcus aureus, (MRSA, also called golden staph, the most common
cause of staph infections). I have also taken a course where the
herbalist said he has treated TMJ with St. John's Wort, although I
have not tried this, nor can I speak to it's efficacy. I can
however say this is an extremely important medicinal plant, which
no home should be without. I have used infused oils, and tinctures
made from the leaves and flowers. Make sure to gather the plant
when it first begins to bloom, as this is when it is at it's most
potent. When the unopened flower buds, and fresh new flowers crush
and form a dark red or purple dye.