shrubby st. john’s wort hypericum prolificumSometimes it seems that all the best shrubs either flower in the spring or have fabulous fall color, leaving the summer bare. Here’s a shrub that’s showy in the summer. Shrubby St. John’s wort has bright-yellow fluffball flowers that bloom for four to six weeks in midsummer. The foliage is clean, dark green and sets off the flowers nicely.
Although this shrub is showiest in summer when it’s blooming, it does have some winter interest too. Brown seed capsules dot the plant and usually last until late winter. They’re a great addition to dried flower arrangements too.
Shrubby St. John’s wort may need to be pruned hard to tidy it up. It also tends to be short-lived, so you may have to replant it after four or five years. The blast of summer color makes it worth what little added trouble it is to replace occasionally. ‘Hidcote’, in the photo, is a popular, widely available hybrid that has large, slightly fragrant flowers.
TYPE Shrub SIZE 1 to 4 ft. tall and wide BLOOM Midsummer LIGHT Full sun SOIL Well-drained to dry, alkaline PESTS None serious HARDINESS Cold: USDA zones 4 to 9; Heat: AHS zones 9 to 1