HYPERICUM ACIFERUM

Family:- GUTTIFERAE/Sect. TRIADENIA

Common Names:- None

Synonyms:- Elodes aciferum

Meaning:- Hypericum (Gr) Above-pictures. A name used by the Greek physician
and botanist Dioscorides for its use over shrines to repel evil spirits.
                 Aciferum (L) Possibly meaning - with needle like leaves.
                            
General description:- Low much-branched, often pendent shrublet without black
glands.

Stems:-

Leaves:- Opposite, 5-12 mm long, narrowly linear, needle-like (ericoid), covered
with a waxy bloom (glaucous) and hairless (glabrous), leathery (coriaceous), not
over lapping (imbricate).

Flowers:- In groups of (1-)3, pedicellate, bell-shaped (campanulate), with stamens
and styles at different levels (heterostylous). Sepals entire suberect, elliptical.
Petals c. 9 mm, lemon yellow to bright yellow. deciduous. Stamens short, in 3
fasicles, persistent.

Fruit:- Ovary with 2 ovules in each loculus. Seeds c. 1.8 mm, broadly cylindrical,
with longitudinal rows of small pits, reddish-brown, with small fleshy a caruncle

Key features:-
1) Herb or microphyllous shrub.
2) Stamens and usually petals persistent.
3) Microphyllous shrub.
4) Stamens in 3 fascicles.
5) Leaves linear
6) Inflorescence usually 3-flowered.
7) Flowers usually in groups of three, pedicellate.
8) Ovary with 2 ovules in each loculus.

Habitat:- Shady calcareous cliffs in gorges near to the sea.

Distribution:- A rare local endemic, discovered in 1962 and known only from a few
populations on the fairly inaccessible stretch of coast between Sougia and Agia 
Roumeli

Flowering time:- May-June also October

Photos by:- Christopher Cheiladakis        

                      FAMILY AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS

GUTTIFERAE

General description:- Shrubs or herbs, with translucent glands containing
essential oils and sometimes red or black glands containing hypericin.

Leaves:- Simple, opposite, or rarely in whorls of 3-4.

Flowers:- Actinomorphic. Sepals (imbricate) in bud. Petals free, contorted in bud.
Stamens in fascicles or apparently indefinite. Ovary superior. Placentation axile or
parietal.

Fruit:- Seeds without endosperm.

HYPERICUM

Flowers:- Hermaphrodite. Sepals (4-)5. Petals (4-)5, yellow, sometimes tinged with
red. Stamens in 3 or 5 fascicles (cluster of similar organs) of (1-)3 to c. 125,
sometimes alternating with sterile fascicles (fasciclodes), or in 5 irregular groups;
fascicles, if 5, opposite to a petal (antepetalous); if 3, one antepetalous and two
(larger) opposite to a sepal (antesepalous). Ovary (2-)3- to 5-celled (5-locular) or
partly or completely 1-locular; ovules numerous. Styles (2-)3-5, free, slender.

Fruit:- A septicidal capsule (the ripe capsule splits along the lines of junction of the
carpels, i.e. along the septa, the fruit valves remaining attached and not falling off.),
rarely fleshy and more or less indehiscent (fruits that do not split open to release
their seeds).

Glands are designated marginal if they protrude sufficiently to interrupt the line of
the margin of a leaf, sepal or petal, intramarginal if they abut on the margin but do
not interrupt its line, superficial if they are quite clear of the margin.

In many species the ovary and capsule have glandular streaks or patches on the
wall. These are referred to as vittae if flat or slightly swollen, and as vesicles if
conspicuously swollen. vittae on or near the midrib of a carpel are described as
dorsal.

Sect. TRIADENIA

General description:- Dwarf, glabrous, microphyllous shrubs, without black
glands.

Leaves:- Opposite

Flowers:- Terminating long or short shoots, heterostylous. Sepals entire. Petals
with entire, ligulate, nectariferous appendage. Stamen fascicles 3, with filaments
united for more than their length, alternating with 3 fleshy fasciclodes

Fruit:- Dry. Seeds slightly carinate, with fleshy caruncle.

Status:-
Conservation status (for threatened species): Vulnerable (V) according
to the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (1995).
IUCN 1997 Record it as Vulnerable (V).
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981,
Bern Convention, EU Dir.1992/43 (Ann.IV)
Plant species with restricted geographical distribution.
SPECIES DESCRIPTION