Hypericum japonicum Thunb.

Last updated: 19 June 2015

Scientific Name

Hypericum japonicum Thunb.


Ascyrum humifusum Labill., Brathys caespitosa Blume, Brathys debilis Blume, Brathys humifusa Spach, Brathys japonica (Thunb.) Wight, Brathys laxa Blume, Brathys nepalensis Blume, Brathys orysetum Blume, Brathys radicans Blume, Hypericum cavaleriei H. Lév., Hypericum chinense Osbeck, Hypericum laxum (Blume) Koidz., Hypericum nervatum Hance, Hypericum thunbergii Franch. & Sav., Sarothra japonica (Thunb.) Y. Kimura, Sarothra laxa (Blume) Y. Kimura. [1]

Vernacular Name


Lesser St. John’s wort, matted St. John’s wort [2]


Di er cao [2]


Hatihuria, pikari-char [2]


N[ojc] s[owr]I c[or] ban, di[eef]n crow] ho[af]ng [3]


Hime-otô-giri, koke-otô-giri [2]


Kugute jhar, nacha mhendo [2]

Papua New Guinea

Ngo­tokong (Mt Hagen, Western Highlands) [3]

Geographical Distributions

Hypericum japon­icum is from Japan, South Korea and South-eastern China, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. H. japon­icum occurs throughout Malesia, Indochina and Thailand. It can be found in wet or marshy to dry locali­ties, but always in exposed places, from sea level up to 3400 m altitude. [3]

Botanical Description

H. japon­icum is a member of the family Guttiferae. It is an extremely variable annual herb, reaching up to 2-50 cm tall, and with erect to decumbent or prostrate stems rooting at the base. [3]

The leaves are usually ovate or ovate-triangular to oblong or elliptical, measuring 2-18 mm x 1-10 mm, chartaceous, sometimes glaucous at the lower side, with 1-7 basal veins which are usually without reticulate venation, with pale laminar glands and sessile. [3]

The 1-30-flowered inflorescence is lax. The flowers are 4-8 mm in diametre. The free sepals are 3-5-veined, measuring 2-5.5 mm x 0.5-2 mm, ,and often with prominent midrib and pale laminar glands while the petals are persistent, measuring 1.7-5 mm x 0.8-1.8 mm,  pale yellow to orange and without glands. There are 5-30 stamens in 5 irregular groups. The ovary is 1-celled, with 2-3 parietal placentas, with divergent style and with broadening to headed stigmas. [3]

The fruit is 2-6 mm long and cylindrical to spherical. The cylindrical seeds are minute, longitudinally ribbed with striae and not keeled. [3]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of H. japonicum [3]


  1.   The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Hypericum japonicum Thunb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Jul 06]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2858299
  2.   Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 534-535.
  3. Brink M. Hypericum japonicum Thunb. ex Murray. In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 306.