St. Andrew's Cross

Scientific Name(s): Hypericum hypericoides
Abundance: common
What: roots, leaves
How: root tea, poultice; leaf tea, poultice
Where: disturbed areas, fields
When: summer, fall
Nutritional Value: medicinal

St. Andrew's Cross

St. Andrew's Cross

St. Andrew's Cross – Version 2

St. Andrew's Cross

St. Andrew's Cross (Hypericum hypericoides)

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
Hypericum hypericoides USDA TX

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Hypericum hypericoides USDA NA

By mid-summer the four-petaled, yellow flowers of St. Andrew's Cross can be found all across the disturbed, partially shaded areas of Texas. This plant is tough but doesn't like full sun, preferring the shade of a wood's edge. It grows from a tiny seedling to over waist-high in just a few months. Its 1" long, dark green leaves alternate along the stems and branches. There's often a short branch growing up off the stem from the base of a leaf. The long stems droop and end up hanging downwards by late summer.

Although St. Andrew's Cross is a close relative of St. John's Wort, it doesn't have the scientifically proven medicinal benefits of its more famous cousin. Traditionally, assorted Native American tribes used the plant medicinally to sooth certain inflammations. Tea from the root has some painkiller properties as well as soothing colicky babies. Its astringent nature was also used to treat diarrhea and issues with the kidneys and bladder. As a poultice, it was used to treat chapped skin. The leaves of St. Andrew's Cross are also astringent and used to make skin soothing poultices and tea with the same urinary tract treatment as the root.

Buy my book! Outdoor Adventure Guides Foraging covers 70 of North America's tastiest and easy to find wild edibles shown with the same big pictures as here on the Foraging Texas website.

Privacy & Amazon Paid Promotion Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. The prices you pay for the item isn't affected, my sales commission comes out of Amazon's pocket.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.