Hypericum androsaemum

Sweet-amber, Tutsan

In Stock: 0.098 lb (Total:0.098lb)
  • HYPERICUM androsaemum

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0.1 lb


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0.1 lb
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Growing Info

Scarification: soak in warm water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 30 days at 64 to 72 degrees F, then cold stratify for 4 - 6 weeks at 32 to 39 degrees F.
Germination: This is a cold germinator. , Just cover seed with soil , Most effective initial temps. after stratification are 41 to 54 degrees F., gradually increase temp. to 68 F., keep seed moist (not wet). Keep seedlings cooler (50F.) Transplant 4 to 8 weeks.

Hypericum androsaemum, also known as Tutsan or sweet-amber, is a flowering plant in the Hypericaceae family. It is a perennial shrub that can reach up to 70 cm in height. Native to open woods and hillsides in Eurasia, this plant is a great choice for ground cover. Although it tends to form clumps rather than spreading, it freely increases through self-sowing. For optimal growth, it is recommended to space the plants about 90 cm apart.

The common name "Tutsan" comes from the French word "toute-sain," meaning "all heal," due to the plant's medicinal uses. Tutsan is a berry-producing shrub that is commonly found in the Mediterranean basin, where it has been traditionally used as a diuretic and hepatoprotective herb. In Portuguese ethno-medicine, it is locally known as "Hipericão do Gerês" and used as a diuretic, hepato protective, and antidepressant. In Spain, the infusion of the flowering aerial parts is used as an antidepressant and anxiolytic. In England, tutsan ointment is used to dress cuts and wounds. The berries of tutsan change color from white/green to red and then to black. It is important to note that all parts of the plant, especially the fruit, are toxic due to the presence of hypericin, which can cause nausea and diarrhea in humans. However, Tutsan berries contain numerous organic biologically active compounds.

Hypericum androsaemum was described by Carl Linneaus and is the type species of the section Androsaemum in the Hypericum genus. This plant is a small shrub that grows to about 70 cm in height, with stamens about as long as the petals.

The chemical composition of Hypericum androsaemum includes various compounds such as shikimic acid, gallic acid, catechin hydrate, epicatechin, p-coumaric acid, trans-resveratrol, caffeic acid, trans-ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, and 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, among others. It also contains rutin, quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, hypericin, and hyperforin.

Biosynthesis in cell cultures of Hypericum androsaemum involves the presence of a benzophenone synthase and a benzophenone 3'-hydroxylase.

In some regions, such as New Zealand, tutsan has become an invasive plant. Measures have been taken to control its spread, including the introduction of a moth called Lathronympha strigana and a leaf-feeding beetle, Chrysolina abchasica, which were tested and found to be safe for native plant species. In Western Australia and Victoria, tutsan is also considered a declared species and is common in wet regions such as the Otway Ranges and the karri forests. It is difficult to remove once established and is unpalatable to both native and introduced herbivores.

In conclusion, Hypericum androsaemum, also known as Tutsan or sweet-amber, is a versatile plant with medicinal uses, attractive berries, and an interesting chemical composition. Its ability to self-sow and provide ground cover makes it a popular choice for gardens. However, caution should be taken with its toxicity and invasive potential in some regions.

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