Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine

Fancy a spot of sunshine in November?


Hypericum androsaemu­m is a pretty deciduous shrub which will soon grow to be three feet high and three feet wide.

It’s hardy, self-fertile and can tolerate most soils, including alkaline ones. It can grow happily in full sun or partial shade, so it should survive any garden. The one thing it doesn’t like is a salty wind, so it’s not a seaside plant.

The flowers are sunshine yellow but the berries are poisonous, so it pays to keep children and animals well away from them.

It’s one of a large genus of flowering plants in the family Hypericace­ae. Many are regarded as invasive or noxious weeds but, at the other extreme, Hypericum perforatum (AKA St John’s wort) is used to treat mild and moderate depression, and sometimes seasonal affective disorder (SAD), anxiety and sleep problems.

In the wild it can be found in open woods, along hedgerows and roadside verges, and on waste ground. Its bright yellow flowers appear from June to September.

Others – even if they are just as invasive and poisonous – are grown because they bring so much to the garden. For example, H calycinum is a lovely low-growing shrub whose bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers can still be blooming in November. This is a plant that will spread rapidly, which makes it ideal for clothing barren ground and for stabilisin­g banks. It is invasive and needs hacking back to ground level every spring; even then, it can still spread and colonise.

Far more accommodat­ing, and far taller, is H “Hidcote”, the choice of the morediscer­ning and less energetic gardener who simply wants a shrub that will reliably produce masses of stunning golden-yellow blooms right up until the first frosts and rarely seeks to bully other plants.

It doesn’t need to be pruned regularly, although it’s best to remove any dead wood and give the plant a light shape each spring to keep it looking good.

 ?? ?? BEAUTY OR BEAST?:Hypericum androsaemu­m is pretty but also poisonous.
BEAUTY OR BEAST?:Hypericum androsaemu­m is pretty but also poisonous.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom