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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Hypericaceae | Hypericum

40. Hypericum boreale (Britton) E. P. Bicknell, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 22: 213. 1895.

Northern St. John’s wort, millepertuis boréal Northern St. John’s wort, millepertuis boréal

Hypericum canadense Linnaeus var. boreale Britton, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 18: 365. 1891; H. mutilum Linnaeus subsp. boreale (Britton) J. M. Gillett; Sarothra borealis (Britton) Y. Kimura dichasial; <bracts not linear-subulate>. Flowers 3–5 mm diam.; sepals usually lanceolate to narrowly oblong, rarely oblanceolate, equal, 2.5–2.5 × 0.8–1 mm, <margins sometimes ciliate, not setulose-ciliate>, apex rounded; petals pale yellow, oblong, 1.7–3.5 mm; stamens 5–16, scarcely grouped; styles 0.5 mm; stigmas broadly capitate. Capsules narrowly ovoid to cylindric-ellipsoid, 4–5 × 2–2.5 mm, <usually broadest at or near middle>. Seeds 0.4–0.7 mm; testa finely linear-scalariform. 2n = 16 [“18”].

Flowering summer–early fall (Jul–Sep). Bogs, poor fens, lake margins, marshes; 0–500 m; St. Pierre and Miquelon; B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Conn., Del., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Oreg., Pa., R.I., Vt., Va., Wash., Wis.

Where Hypericum boreale grows submerged, the plants are almost always sterile with elongated stems and suborbiculate leaves (H. boreale forma callitrichoides Fassett). Such plants intergrade shorewards with typical H. boreale (F. H. Utech and H. H. Iltis 1970). All other chromosome counts for H. mutilum and its near relatives have given n = 8; B. M. Kapoor’s (1972) count of 2n = 18 must be treated with reserve.

Hypericum mutile var. boreale (Britton) E. P. Bicknell is not a validly published name.

The discovery of Hypericum boreale near the mouth of Fraser River at Vancouver in 1989 extends the distribution of this species across Canada almost to the Pacific coast; this occurrence is almost certainly the result of recent introduction.


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