Hypericum is a relatively large genus of flowering plants with a nearly worldwide distribution. Hypericum Hidcote makes a fantastic ornamental shrub as it has pretty buttercup like flowers and is very easy to grow.
Hypericum has been used medicinally throughout history to treat a variety of ailments. The two main compounds hyperforin and hypericin have antibiotic properties. William Coles (1626-1662) wrote in the 17th century that:
"The little holes where of the leaves of Saint Johns wort are full, doe resemble all the pores of the skin and therefore it is profitable for all hurts and wounds that can happen thereunto."
Hypericum is very popular in the cut flower industry as the colourful berries make good fillers for bouquets, centre-pieces and flower arrangements. The berries can be red, brown, purple, pink, orange or white and are great for adding colour and texture. They are used year round but are exceptionally popular in winter.
To keep hypericum berries fresh at home, slant-cut the stems by 1-2 inches and place in tepid floral food solution. The leaves tend to wilt, so simply remove them to allow the berries centre stage! Re-cut the ends every few days and only use fresh water.
At Best4Hedging we stock a huge variety of flowering hedges, so if St John's Wort hedging is not quite right for you, see the complete selection for more inspiration.