Hypericum japonicum Thunb

[From Greek, hyper = above and eikon = picture (the plant was hung above pictures to ward off evil spirit) and from Latin, japonicum = from Japan]

Physical description: It is a 30 cm long, erect or procumbent, light green, somewhat succulent herb which grows throughout Southeast Asia, in China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, and in the Himalayas. It is found on wet soil, along waterfall paths and by the rivers. The stems are glabrous, smooth, and somewhat 4-winged. Leaves: simple, decussate, amplexicaul, and without stipules. The blade is elliptic, pellucid-punctuates underneath, and 4 mm x 1.5mm-2mm x 1 mm. The margin is entire and recurved; the midrib is raised above and below. The flowers are bright yellow, 6 mm-1 cm in diameter and arranged in elongate and dichotomous

Synonymy: Sarothra japonica.

Common name: Matted St John's Wort.

Uses: In China, Hypericum japonicum Thunb. is used to treat skin infection, infectious hepatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and tumors, to counteract poisoning, soothe inflammation, and to heal abscesses. In Vietnam, the plant is used to heal wounds and leech bites. New Guinea: Hypericum japonicum Thunb. is part of a remedy used to treat malaria.

cymes. The flower pedicels are 6 mm long and the bracts are linear-lanceolate. The sepals are lanceolate, acute and persistent, and there are 5 petals which are bright yellow and obo-vate. The andrecium consists of a few stamens, the filaments of which are slightly connate at the base. The ovary is single-celled, contains 3 parietal placentas and develops 3 styles upward. The fruits are ovoid, 3-valved, dehiscent, capsules, containing numerous oblong (Fig. 95).

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