Family:- GUTTIFERAE/Sect. CORIDIUM
Common Names:- None
Synonyms:- Hypericum quadrifolium
Meaning:- Hypericum (Gr) Above-pictures. A name used by the Greek physician
and botanist Dioscorides for its use over shrines to repel evil spirits.
Amblycalyx (Gr) With a blunt calyx.
General description:- Perennial, many-branched.
Stems:- Up to 50 cm, erect and caespitose with strict branching, or procumbent,
straggling and rooting.
Leaves:- Simple, opposite 2-12 mm, narrow, parallel-sided to lance-shaped in
whorls of 4, hairless.
Flowers:- Yellow in elongated panicles or simple cymes, or solitary. Sepals
stalkless, margins without glands. Petals and stamens deciduous.
Fruit:- Capsule with oblique vesicles.
1) Plant without red or black glands on the leaves, sepals, petals or anthers.
2) Leaves in whorls of 3-4, smooth.
3) Petals and stamens deciduous.
Habitat:- Crevices and ledges of limestone cliffs, rocky road embankments with
open dry shrubby vegetation, outcrops in open coniferous woodland. 0-1100 m.
Distribution:- Endemic E. Crete. Where it is fairly common.
Flowering time:- Mid-Mar to early June.
Photos by:- Steve Lenton
FAMILY AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS
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
Fruit:- Seeds without endosperm.
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
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
General description:- Shrubs or perennial herbs, glabrous or with papillose leaves.
Black glands confined to sepals, or rarely absent.
Leaves:- Whorled, usually linear; margins revolute.
Flowers:- In cymes, rarely solitary. Sepals usually with glandular margin. Stamen-
fascicles 3. Styles 3.
Fruit:- Capsule with longitudinal vittae or oblique vesicles. Seeds papillose or
Conservation status (for threatened species): Rare (R) according to IUCN 1997.
Protection status (for threatened species): Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981.