Hypericum forrestii

16 Sep

Hypericum forrestii (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum forrestii (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Hypericaceae

Hypericum forrestii is a semi-evergreen shrub with  bushy, spreading  habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 5cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves turn orange/ red in autumn and through the winter months. Its yellow flowers are bowl shaped, have five petals, prominent stamens and are up to 5cm across. Its fruit is a red capsule and up to 2cm long.

Hypericum forrestii Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum forrestii Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum forrestii, commonly known as Forrest’s St John’s Wort or Forrest’s Tutsan, is native to central south China and north east Burma. In its native habitat it grows on stoney hillsides, near stream and at the margins of Pine forests. This shrub has naturalised in the UK. Hypericum forrestii is synonymous with Hypericum patulum var. forrestii.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hypericum is derived from the Greek meaning ‘above pictures’, in reference to this plants use over shrines to repel evil spirits. Forrestii is named after George Forrest (1873 -1932), a Scottish botanist and discoverer of this plant.

The landscape architect may find Hypericum forrestii useful as an effective ground cover, summer flowering shrub. It may be lightly pruned to form an informal hedge. Once established this shrub is drought tolerant.

Hypericum forrestii Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hypericum forrestii Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Hypericum forrestii flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Hypericum forrestii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Hypericum forrestii prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Hypericum forrestii requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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