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St. Peter's-Wort
st. peter's wort  

This is not a plant you come across every day. St. Peter's-wort, hypericum crux-andreae, is a Florida native that is critically imperiled in this part of the state, according to the Institute for Regional Conservation. It's range extends as far north as New York, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it has disappeared from Pennsylvania, and Kentucky lists it as threatened. It's a member of the same family as St. John'swort,

st peters wort

 
 
st. peterswort

found in sandy sites and pine barrens. It's a small, shrubby plant that, according to one source, can grow as tall as three feet. The plant we found, at the Okeeheelee Nature Center, was less than a foot. St. Peter's-wort produces a pretty, four-petal, lemon-yellow flower at the tips of branches. Again, they're attractive, but few in number. The USDA distribution map doesn't show St. Peter'swort occuring here, but the IRC does list it for Okeeheelee Nature Center, which is where we found this plant. It is similar in appearance to St. Andrew's Cross. Fun fact: the Choctaw Indians made an eye wash and a treatment for colic from the leaves and roots of this plant. It's also spelled St. Peterswort.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) distribution maps for St. Peter's-wort.

st. peterswort u.s.
 
Links for St. Peter's-wort
 
Institute for Regional Conservation Natives for Your Neighborhood Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants USDA PLANTS Database Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
 
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