Herb: Great Saint John's Wort

Latin name: Hypericum ascyron

Synonyms: Hypericum pyramidatum

Family: Hypericaceae (St. John's Wort Family)

Medicinal use of Great Saint John's Wort:

The fruit is emmenagogue and is also used to treat skin complaints and gonorrhoea. The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge, poultice and vulnerary. A decoction is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, headaches and stomach ache and vomiting. The root is considered to be specific for use in treating the first stages of consumption. A powder made from the boiled root has been applied as a poultice to draw the poison out of a snake bite.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Grassy places in the mountains of N. Japan.

Edible parts of Great Saint John's Wort:

Young leaves, shoot tips and flowering buds - cooked. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 10C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of Great Saint John's Wort:

Grassy places in the mountains of N. Japan.

Known hazards of Hypericum ascyron:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.