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Plant Profile: Olympic St. John’s Wort (Hypericum olympicum)

There are over 200 species of Hypericum, from shrubs, to sub-shrubs, to herbaceous perennials, and Hypericum olympicum is an excellent one for rock gardens. A native of southeast Europe and Asia Minor, Olympic St. John’s Wort grows only 9-12” high and bears yellow flowers 1.5-2” across in early summer. The bushy shrub has a fine texture with small, rounded, grayish leaves and trailing stems. In addition to be an excellent rock garden plant, Olympic St. John’s wort is good both at the front of the border and as a ground cover.

 Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Two to three yellow flowers 1.5-2” across are borne in cymes in early summer.

Foliage: Long sessile, pointed, grayish green leaves.

Size: 9-12” H x 12” W

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Soil: Average, well-drained; tolerates some drought

Hardiness: Zones 6-8

Care: Cut back in early spring

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Fresh seed; basal cuttings in spring, terminal cuttings in fall

Companion plants: Saponaria ocymoides (soapwort), Scabiosa graminifolia, Silene schafta (campion)

Outstanding Selections: ‘Citrinum’ (lemon yellow flowers).

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