Saint-John's-wort


Saint-John's-wort
Saint-John's-wort [sānt jänz′wʉrt]
n.
after Saint JOHN1 + WORT2: reason for name uncert.
any of a genus (Hypericum) of ornamental plants of the Saint-John's-wort family, with usually yellow flowers and numerous stamens
adj.
designating a family (Guttiferae, order Theales) of dicotyledonous trees, shrubs, and plants used for timber, in drugs, etc.: Also written Saint John's wort

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Common name for plants in the family Hypericaceae, which contains 350 species of herbs or low shrubs in eight genera.

The family is sometimes considered part of the family Guttiferae. The majority of species (about 300) belong to the genus Hypericum. Their leaves are opposite or whorled, dotted with glands, and usually have smooth margins. Several species are cultivated in temperate regions for their handsome flowers. H. perforatum, a showy golden flower grown in both the Old and New Worlds whose buds contain a red oil, has long been credited with magical and medicinal powers; today it is being widely used and studied for its possible efficacy against depression.

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plant
      common name for many species in the family Hypericaceae, which contains 9 genera and 560 species of herbs or low shrubs. Members of the family have opposite or whorled, gland-dotted, simple, usually smooth-margined leaves and mostly five-petalled, mainly yellow, flowers with many stamens, which are often united in bundles. The fruits are nearly always dry capsules.

 About 370 species, both temperate and tropical, belong to the genus Hypericum. Aaron's-beard (H. calycinum; see photograph—>), sometimes known as rose of Sharon, and H. patulum are both shrubby, East Asian species. Aaron's-beard bears pale-yellow flowers with orange stamens, on 30-cm- (1-foot-) tall plants. The shrubby H. patulum has slightly smaller, deep-yellow flowers with darker stamens. H. elatum, from the Canary Islands, has egg-shaped, scarlet fruits. St.-Andrew's-cross (H. hypericoides) is cultivated as an ornamental shrub for its yellow flowers. The genus Cratoxylum, with six tropical Asian species, contains one garden plant, C. polyanthum. It is an aromatic shrub with pink flowers, papery oblong leaves, and winged seeds. H. perforatum has become a serious weed problem in southern Australia and North America; certain beetle species have been introduced in many locations to eat the plants and keep them under control. See also Saint-Andrew's-cross.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saint John's-wort — Saint Saint (s[=a]nt), n. [F., fr. L. sanctus sacred, properly p. p. of sancire to render sacred by a religious act, to appoint as sacred; akin to sacer sacred. Cf. {Sacred}, {Sanctity}, {Sanctum}, {Sanctus}.] 1. A person sanctified; a holy or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Saint-John's-wort — jänz .wərt, .wȯ(ə)rt n 1) any of a genus (Hypericum of the family Guttiferae, the Saint John s wort family) of herbs and shrubs with showy yellow flowers esp one (H. perforatum) of dry soil, roadsides, pastures, and ranges that contains a… …   Medical dictionary

  • Saint-John's-wort — [sānt jänz′wʉrt] n. [after Saint JOHN1 + WORT2: reason for name uncert.] any of a genus (Hypericum) of ornamental plants of the Saint John s wort family, with usually yellow flowers and numerous stamens adj. designating a family (Guttiferae,… …   English World dictionary

  • Saint-John's-wort — noun Etymology: Saint John the Baptist Date: 15th century 1. any of a large genus (Hypericum of the family Guttiferae, the Saint John s wort family) of cosmopolitan herbs and shrubs with showy pentamerous yellow flowers 2. the dried aerial parts… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • saint-john's-wort — (|) ̷ ̷ˈ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ noun Usage: usually capitalized S&J Etymology: after St. John the Baptist: from its being gathered on St. John s eve to be used to ward off evil spirits and as a medicinal herb : a plant of the genus Hypericum see hypericism,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • saint john's wort — noun Usage: usually capitalized S&J : the dried aerial parts of a Saint John s wort (Hypericum perforatum) that are held to relieve depression and are used in herbal remedies and dietary supplements …   Useful english dictionary

  • Saint John's wort — n. plant having five petaled yellow flowers …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Saint John's Wort —    This herb protects against fairy spells, and is used in healing …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • saint-john's-wort family — noun Usage: usually capitalized S&J : guttiferae …   Useful english dictionary

  • Saint James's-wort — Saint Saint (s[=a]nt), n. [F., fr. L. sanctus sacred, properly p. p. of sancire to render sacred by a religious act, to appoint as sacred; akin to sacer sacred. Cf. {Sacred}, {Sanctity}, {Sanctum}, {Sanctus}.] 1. A person sanctified; a holy or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English