St. Andrew's Cross (Hypericum hypericoides)
St. Andrews Cross is a native shrub that is found in Bermuda, the South-eastern United States and Bahamas. It is a small shrub, growing from 1 to 2.5 feet (30 to 76 cm) tall. The thin, reddish branches have many closely spaced 8 mm-long leaves growing along their length. The flowers are bright yellow with 4 petals in the shape of an X which gives this plant its name. Flowers are followed by greenish-brown seed pods.
In Britton’s 1918 account of the flora of Bermuda, he notes that St. Andrew’s Cross is frequently found in marshes and on hillsides. Today it is rare, with a few specimens surviving in the wild. St. Andrews Cross is being propagated for sale to home gardeners and for use in landscapes. Examples of propagated plants can be seen at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo in the Arboretum in Devonshire.
The taxonomy of this species has changed often over time. St. Andrew’s Cross was recorded by Britton as being an endemic species Ascyrum macrosepalum. This species was also formerly known as Ascyrum hypericoides or Hypericum macrosepalum.
Related Research: The Millennium Seed Bank Project