Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Hypericaceae Jussieu

Shrubs or annual to perennial herbs. Cork pericyclic; polyderm widespread. Flowers 4–5-merous, calyx often contorted. Stamens 5–many, often fasciculate, centrifugal; anthers often with simple glands. Stigma not papillate, dry. Fruit a capsule, berry or drupe. Seeds 5–many, exotegmen absent; embryo green or white, cotyledons moderate-sized. Flavones, flavonols and biflavonoids present.


Nine genera and c. 560 species of temperate and subtropical regions.

Number of species and named hybrids in New Zealand within Hypericaceae Jussieu
Indigenous (Endemic)2
Indigenous (Non-endemic)2
Exotic: Fully Naturalised12
Exotic: Casual2
Origin uncertain: Present in wild1

n = 6–12. (see Robson (1990) for discussion).


A phylogenetic study of the Malpighiales has been made by Wurdack & Davis (2009). The family Hypericaceae is shown to be monophyletic and sister to Podostemaceae, whereas the family Clusiaceae is paraphyletic and comprises two unrelated subfamilies (Kielmeyeroideae and Clusioideae). The subfamily Clusioideae is treated as the family Clusiaceae, and the subfamily Kielmeyeroideae is circumscribed as the reinstated family Calophyllaceae (Wurdack & Davis 2009). Previously, some authors had placed Hypericum in Clusiaceae sensu lato.

Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Cronquist, A. 1988: The evolution and classification of flowering plants. The New York Botanic Gardens, New York.
Heenan, P.B. 2014: Hypericaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Brownsey, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Seed Plants. Fascicle 1. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.
Robson, N.K.B. 1990: Studies in the genus Hypericum L. (Guttiferae) 8. Sections 29. Brathys (part 2) and 30. Trigynobrathys. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Botany 20: 1–151.
Wurdack, K.J.; Davis, C.C. 2009: Malpighiales phylogenetics: gaining ground on one of the most recalcitrant clades in the angiosperm tree of life. American Journal of Botany 96(8): 1551–1570.