Seeds of South Australia
Hypericum japonicum (Guttiferae)
Matted St John's Wort
List of species for Hypericum
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to May
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [limited habitat]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [on western end]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [wetland sp; threatened by weeds & decline in habitat quality; changes in hydrology an issue]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [wetland sp; threatened by weeds & decline in habitat quality; changes in hydrology an issue]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Hypericum]
Name derivation:
Hypericum from the Greek 'hyper' meaning above and 'icon' meaning image; referring to plants from the genus being hung above religious figures to ward off evil spirits. Japonicum means of or from Japan; possibly referring to the location of the type specimen.
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in cool, moist, often shaded sites in swampy heathland. Also found in all states except the Northern Territory (and China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to New Guinea and New Zealand)
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate or procumbent, often mat-forming perennial herb, rarely more than 8 cm high, rooting from the lower nodes, stems with 4-ridges, internodes often shorter than leaves. Leaves elliptic to obovate, to 10 mm long and 5 mm wide, spreading from stems, margins not recurved (but often undulate). Flowers solitary and terminal or in reduced ckusters with yellow petals. Flowering between November and March.
Fruit type:
Brown, plump ovoid to ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Yellow oblong seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, surface tuberculated.
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing capsule those turning pale brown with brown seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From two collections, the seed viability were average, ranging from 65% to 75%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA100000 (2.12 g)10-Jan-2008RJB76851
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-200875%+5°C, -18°C
BGA24000 (0.96 g)100+3-Jan-2008DJD1038
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-200865%+5°C, -18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.