|A St. John's-wort shrub planted itself in front of the palmettos, but which Hypericum is it?|
|4 petals in a flattened X-shape and|
2 large sepals
|Turning the flower upside-down, the 2 large sepals are |
subtended by 2 narrow bracts
Here is their list of Hypericum for Florida. Without the book, you could link to all 31 of the species, look at the photos, and try to decide, but the photos may or may not provide enough detail to correctly ID the plant. The book and its keys make the job of figuring out the species or subspecies more certain.
|Here is the key in the Wunderlin and Hansen book where I knew I could figure out our shrub.|
A good key provides a series of clear either/or choices.
#1 is easy to figure out the number of petals and sepals. There are obviously 4 petals, but I only saw two sepals without my magnifying glass, but still I had to choose the first #1 with 4 petals--not 5.
#2: Styles 2 or styles 3 or 4. I can see that there are 2 styles, so I pick the first #2.
#3: The pedicels (flower stems) are short the the 2 bracts are right under the sepals (calyx). So my shrub is Hypericum hypericoides or St. Andrew's cross. When I look it up on the online plant Atlas, the range covers the whole state and the photos match my shrub perfectly. So now I know what to call my beautiful shrubs.
|Flower diagram from wiki-commons|
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