Wednesday 22 May
Flax-leaved St John's-wort (Hypericum linariifolium)
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Flax-leaved St John's-wort fact file
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Flax-leaved St John's-wort description
- Also known as
- Toadflax-leaved St John's wort.
- Height: 5 - 65 cm (2)
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (September 2002) http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
- Stace, C. (1991) New flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Wigginton, M. J. (1999) British Red Data Books 1; Vascular Plants. 3rd Edition. JNCC, Peterborough.
- Dartmoor Species Action Plan for flax-leaved St John's-wort (September 2002) http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/dnp/pubs/bap16.pdf
- Byfield, A. (2002) Plantlife. Pers. comm.
- Plantlife (September 2002): http://www.plantlife.org.uk
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Flax-leaved St John's-wort biology
This perennial species is often short-lived, and can produce huge quantities of seeds, which need bare patches of earth in order to germinate. Flax-leaved St John's-wort can withstand times of high temperature and drought (3).Top
Flax-leaved St John's-wort range
At present, this species persists in England in east Cornwall and south Devon, as well as in Caernarvonshire in Wales (3). Around 90% of the number of flax-leaved St John's-wort plants in Britain are thought to occur in the Dartmoor National Park (4). This species is endemic to Europe, and occurs outside of Britain in oceanic parts of western Europe, including Portugal, Spain, France, Madeira, and the Channel Islands (3).Top
Flax-leaved St John's-wort habitat
Inhabits south-facing coastal cliffs, and inland where it is found in open areas typically dominated by bell heather (Erica cinerea) in steep wooded valleys, growing on thin soils over acid rocks (5).Top
Flax-leaved St John's-wort status
Classified as Lower Risk- near threatened in Great Britain (3).Top
Flax-leaved St John's-wort threats
Scrub growth, particularly of gorse, is known to pose a threat to this species; fire may also cause problems (3). Cross-breeding with trailing St John's-wort (H. humifusum) has been documented, and this may dilute the gene pool of Flax-leaved St John's wort (4).Top
Flax-leaved St John's-wort conservation
Plantlife, the wild plant conservation charity, has included flax-leaved St John's-wort in its Back from the Brink Programme (6), and has carried out a national survey of the species (4). At several sites, scrub control and removal has caused this plant to increase in extent (3). Many of the sites in the Dartmoor stronghold are managed by conservation organisations (4).Top
Find out more
For more on this species see the Dartmoor Species Action Plan, available at:
Information authenticated by Plantlife, the wild plant conservation charity:
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