Hypericum uralum

Thank you to James Gaither in San Francisco for submitting today’s Botany Photo of the Day (Original Image | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool)!

Lindsay Bourque writes:

Hypericum, the genus to which this species belongs, has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy documented in Aulus Cornelius Celsus’ (circa 25 BC- 50 CE) De Medicina. Known in English by its common name, St. John’s Wort, it is used for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Contemporary pharmacology has isolated two compounds, hyperforin and hypericin, which are used to treat mild depression. Interestingly, in ancient Greece Hypericum was hung above pictures to ward off evil spirits (hyper-above and eikon-a picture). However, its effectiveness as an anti-depressant is still debatable and has a number of known side-effects, such as photosensitivity.

Hypericum uralum

14 responses to “Hypericum uralum”

  1. Er.We

    an excellent shot of a jolly plant (they all are, the hypericums, at least for me)

  2. James Gaither

    Thanks very much for honoring me by inclusion of my image in BPotD–and thanks to Er.We for your comment.
    Unfortunately, my original image has undergone horizontal stretching that has rather badly distorted the proportions of the subject matter. Anyone interested should click on the link to the original image beneath the version above. Thanks, again.

  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Hey James,
    The image was placed in the wrong sized frame. Sorry for that. I have corrected the problem, so the image is no longer stretched.

  4. Brandy

    James, I went back and forth between the BPotD picture and your original version and from my admittedly not-a-professional eye, the BPotD picture doesn’t appear too different. I think the distortion is not as significant as you fear. Great picture, though. This blog ALWAYS brings me a few moments of pleasure each day and I save almost all of the pictures so they become part of my rotating screen saver.

  5. Brandy

    Ah, Eric had fixed the picture by the time I was comparing it to the original; no wonder it didn’t look distorted!

  6. Connie

    What a lovely photo- focus, composition, beauty. Thank you!

  7. annie Morgan

    Lovely photo – big enough to really see, but not so big as to give rise to wondering what the entire flower looks like!
    This is the kind of photo that pleases me so much.

  8. Sheila

    A simply stunning pic. Thank you

  9. Cambree

    Cute flower. Interesting info too.
    A great reminder for me to visit the Berkley Botanical Garden soon.

  10. elizabeth a airhart

    theaskaboutireland site has
    really interesting write up
    seems st columcille carried a packet
    under his arm as protection against
    his tussles with demons
    also used as protection from fairy blight
    the folk lore stories are great reading
    the photo looks like a painting thank you

  11. Cheryl Fromholzer

    A number of side effects? Photosensitivity can be an issue in some individuals and it shouldn’t be taken with SSRI drugs — other than that, it is very safe, and as an herbalist I find it quite effective in some individuals when taken for mild depression over a period of time. It’s important to match the plant to the person… not the illness. St. John’s Wort is also a very effective vulnerary when used topically, meaning it’s a great wound healer. Also good for treating ulcers.

  12. AJ

    My grandmother was prescribed St. John’s Wort tea when she was taking pain classes in conjunction with her cancer treatments years ago. She gave me some to try. Although I liked the taste, I experienced mild headaches when I drank it. Hopefully the medicinal properties of this useful plant can be separated from the more “toxic” ones by our biochemist colleagues in the near future.

  13. Smita

    Beautiful picture!!! I loved it

  14. Delia Taylor

    Dear James,
    I am the current East Bay Chapter CNPS President. I saw a photo of yours on the EBCNPS website that Lech Naumovich maintains and wonder if you would allow us to use it in an appeal for our Conservation Analyst Fund. The photo is the Mt Diablo sunflower.
    As I will be out of town as of Monday please contact Carol Castro
    carollbcastro@hotmail.com as well if you get this message.
    Thank you!

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