Hypericum gramineum G.Forst.

Small St John's Wort

Fl. Ins. Austr. 53 (1786) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Erect perennial (rarely annual) herb to c. 40 cm high, often rhizomatous and shortly creeping at base; stems 4-ridged, internodes usually longer than leaves. Leaves ovate to narrowly elliptic or oblong, 3–20 mm long, 1.5–7 mm wide, often glaucous, at least the uppermost erect and stem-clasping, margins usually recurved. Flowers in leafy cymes; sepals ± equal, narrowly elliptic, 2.5–5 mm long, enlarging to c. 8 mm long in fruit, not black-dotted; petals exceeding sepals, to 8 mm long, orange-yellow, not black-dotted; stamens c. 15–50, c. half as long as petals, free; styles 3. Capsule narrowly ovoid, c. 5–8 mm long, slightly to distinctly exceeding sepals; seeds short-cylindric to narrowly ovoid, c. 1 mm long, trabeculate. Flowers mainly Oct.–Jan.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, RobP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. All States. South-east Asia, Malesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Zealand. A common herb of most plant communities, avoiding very wet or shaded sites, rare in far northern Victoria where mainly confined to sandy soils near the Murray River and its flood-plain.

A rather variable species, sometimes difficult to separate from Hypericum japonicum. Some specimens from the north and far north-west of the state (e.g Terrick Terrick, Hattah areas) are small annuals with flowers mainly solitary in axils, and not confined to the upper part of the plant. This form of the species appears to extend into Central Australia and may deserve taxonomic recognition.

Hypericum involutum is here regarded as a synonym of H. gramineum. Hypericum involutum is based on plants from Tasmania and is thought to occur in southern Australia and New Zealand. This species has been defined by plants that are branched only from the base, have few-flowered, terminal dichasial cymes, more than 30 stamens, and large capsules that greatly exceed sepals. However, plants from Victoria exhibit a wide range of variation and are often intermediate between the two entities described by Heenan (2011). As such, H. involutum has not been adopted in VicFlora.      

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Clusiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-08-01

Heenan, P.B. (2011). Taxonomic notes on the New Zealand flora: Hypericum gramineum and Hypericum involutum (Hypericaceae), New Zealand Journal of Botany 49: 133-139.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Hypericaceae
genus Hypericum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Hypericum gramineum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Hypericum gramineum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory