ST. ANDREW'S CROSS
(Ascyrum hypericoides; A. Crux-Andreae of Gray) St.
Flowers - Yellow, 1/2 to 3/4 in. across, terminal and from the
leaf axils. Calyx of 4 sepals in 2 pairs; 4 narrow, oblong
petals; stamens numerous; 2 styles. Stem: Much branched and
base, 5 to 10 in. high, leafy. Leaves: Opposite,
oblong, small, seated on stem.
Preferred Habitat - Dry, sandy soil; pine barrens.
Flowering Season - July-August.
Distribution - Nantucket Island (Mass.), westward to Illinois,
south to Florida and Texas.
Because the four pale yellow petals of this flower approach each
other in pairs, suggesting a cross with equals arms, the plant
was given its name by Linnaeus in 1753. ST. PETER'S-WORT (A.
stans), a similar plant, found in the same localities, in bloom
at the same time, has larger flowers in small clusters at the
tips only of its upright branches.
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