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Hypericum perforatum is a yellow-flowering, stoloniferous or sarmentose, perennial herb.The common name comes from its traditional flowering and harvesting on St John's day, 24 June. The genus name Hypericum is derived from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture), in reference to the traditional use of the plant to ward off evil, by hanging plants over a religious icon in the house during St John's day. The species name perforatum refers to the presence of small oil glands in the leaves that look like windows, which can be seen when they are held against the light. Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are colored bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches, between late spring and early to mid summer. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles. The pollen grains are ellipsoidal. When flower buds (not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.
It is indigenous to Europe but it has been introduced to many temperate areas of the world and grows wild in many meadows.
Other names: Tipton's weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil, or Klamath weed, kantarijon, Gospina trava, bogorodična trava, gospino zelje, sentjanzovka, sentjanzevka. It is widely known as an herbal treatment for depression. In some countries, such as Germany, it is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children and adolescents. It is proposed that the mechanism of action of St. John's wort is due to the inhibition of reuptake of certain neurotransmitters.