Herb: St. Andrews Cross

Latin name: Hypericum hypericoides

Synonyms: Ascyrum hypericoides

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

Medicinal use of St. Andrews Cross:

Lithontripic. The root was chewed as an antidote to rattlesnake bites. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of colic, fevers, pain, diarrhoea etc. It is applied externally to ulcerated breasts. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder ailments, skin problems and children's diarrhoea. A milky substance obtained from the plant has been rubbed on sores.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry sandy soils.

Propagation of St. Andrews Cross:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10 - 12 cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood, 12 - 17cm with a heel, October/November in a sheltered position outdoors. Plants root by the spring. Good percentage. Division in spring as new growth commences. 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 the herb:

Dry sandy soils.

Known hazards of Hypericum hypericoides:

Contact with the sap can cause photosensitivity in sensitive people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.