Hypericum, otherwise known as the gift that keeps on giving. Why? After they’ve finished flowering, they produce beautiful, festive berries!
Hypericum’s genus name comes from the Greek word “hyper,” meaning “above” and “eikon,” meaning “picture.” This refers to the tradition of hanging plants over images, pictures, or windows.
Their common name “St. John’s Wort” refers to John the Baptist, as hypericums bloom around the time of the Feast of St. John the Baptist in late June. They were traditionally gathered and burned on midsummer’s eve—June 23rd—as protection against evil spirits. This date was later Christianized as the eve of the feast day of St. John the Baptist.
The term “wort” on the other hand, refers to the old English name for herb or plant. 
There is also a myth regarding the holes in the leaves of St. John Wort. Legend has it, the devil was so angry with God for giving such a valuable and healthy plant to the people of His kingdom, that he pierced (with a hair from his tail, yikes) all of the leaves on the plant. You can still see the holes if you hold a leaf of Hypericum perforatum up to the sun. 
Hypericum is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. With hundreds of different varieties, these beautiful blooms/berries come in soo many different colors (making them perfect for any occasion). 
Hypericum has over a 400-year history and has been used throughout the centuries in gels, ointments, creams, sprays, and bath oils. Essentially, the crushed plant material (wet leaves, flowers, fruit) is mixed with vegetable oil, set in the sun, and allowed to ferment for several weeks.
In many regions, hypericum was used to treat bruises, burns, and superficial injuries. 
It’s also been used to treat nervous unrest. Another common name for hypericum is “Tutsan” which comes from the French word, “Toutesaine,” which means “all healthy.” 
DID YOU KNOW?
The ancients also observed that, when cut, this plant “bleeds” a reddish sap just as a cut finger would. So the specific epithet, androsaemum, combines the Greek words “andro” (meaning man) and “haima” (meaning blood). 
Alright, and now onto how you should care for your freshly cut berries!
Overall, hypericum berries are relatively hardy and should last 1-2 weeks after cutting!
Hypericum berries make the perfect gift for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving due to their festive colors. However, they also come in pink and white making them suitable for just about any occasion!
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