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Mystery shrub?

 
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Windymiller



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 550
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 3:59 pm    Post subject: Mystery shrub?  Reply with quote    

Seen in a suburban garden near Birmingham, last July. What is it? Hedge is about 5' high.


cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

St. Johns Wort of some kind, I think. Hypericum hidcote?

Last edited by cab on Wed Apr 05, 06 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41954
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rose of Sharon?

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd definitely say hypericum (mainly because I'm not sure I can spell it). Also called rose of Sharon but I think it is not quite the same thing as St Johns Wort that people use for a health supplement thingy.

It tends to get planted a lot in places where tough plants are needed - we used to have it in the "garden" at our flat.

I hate it

Home on the Hill



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 313
Location: Warwickshire
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Definately Hypericum - there's lots of different kinds and one is the herb known as St John's Wort.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

rose of //// hypericum /// st johns
ace plant well useful
looks like a cultivar

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18378

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's Rose of Sharon. Not St John's wort, whose flowers are more straggly-petalled, smaller and more orangey.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:
It's Rose of Sharon. Not St John's wort, whose flowers are more straggly-petalled, smaller and more orangey.


Thats certainly true of common St. Johns Wort or the others (hairy and pale, I think).

*grabs Phillips wild flower book*

Yeah, common is Hypericum perforatum.

Now the term 'St. Johns Wort' is often applied to lots of the plants of the Hypericum genus. Apparently they were hung around the neck by crusaders on St. Johns eve to ward off evil nasty things. I've also heard that it was used by the Knights of St. John to heal wounds. Take your pick

Now I rekon that the pic is Hypericum hidcote, another 'St. Johns wort', and one that is sometimes planted in gardens:

http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=hypericum+hidcote

Rose of sharon... Could be, that's another Hypericum and its sometimes labelled as a St. Johns wort. Looks a wee bit less like it, though:

http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=hypericum+calycinum

Either way, we're not far off

Its common St. Johns wort that is used 'medicinally', but to be honest its considered poisonous, and the herbal application should be considered dubious (has a lot of side effects, so be very, very, very careful with it, always consult a doctor when considering taking anythign as serious as this).

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

any active properties?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
any active properties?


St Johns Wort has been used as a 'pick me up'. A red oil is extracted from the flowers and the leaves, and has been used to treat practically everything.

In recent years its been the psychoactive effect of the plant that has been most explored; turns out that there's some evidence that it works for that in some cases, it also has comparable side effects to many of the drugs that fiddle with serotonin, i.e. many prescription only antidepressants. So leave well alone, or get good medical advice!

Exactly what range of St. Johns wort plant species have such an effect I don't know.

Windymiller



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 550
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 06 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My thanks to everyone. It looks like the Hidcote variety, as it grows taller. With the suckering habit, it could be a bit invasive, but I'll get some, ready to replace the dreaded Leylandii!

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 06 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You know it looks very like the one hanging over a wall in our garden - about a metre tall - flowers and flowers and flowers so is very jolly. It spreads around about from the base (very technical) but i havent had a problems with it being invasive.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 06 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ta
i think ive seen a low sprawling version as well .
nice hedge though

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