Just Golden July 12, 2007
Some days are just golden; today was one of those. An adventure scouting out some prime dragonfly spots in Ashland and Wayne counties turned up many exciting finds. Not only Odonates (dragonflies) but Lepidoptera (butterflies) and great botany too.
Along the bank of the Clear Fork River, which winds through the Mohican Forest gorge, we found some dynamic dragonflies. The Dragonhunter and the Illinois River Cruiser were both big bruisers and I hope to see them again soon. But another exciting find was this unusually golden perennial, Great St.Johnswort, Hypericum pyramidatum. It stood nearly 4 foot tall, and could be confused with a shrub, but this is a herbaceous perennial. St. Johnswort is a popular herbal remedy for depression; it know this one certainly enhanced my mood! :)
Listed in our wildflower guides are many St. Johnsworts, all in the family Clusiacea. One of the most commonly seen in our area, Common St. Johnswort is an alien. But this "Great" beauty is a native, albeit somewhat rare Ohioan. If you could see the whole plant, instead of this lone gorgeous flower, you would note its pyramidal shape, hence the Latin name. This is really a plant to remember in a day full of great finds.