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Hypericum gentianoides

Not the best photograph of pineweed in the world (will get a better one this summer!). The cool thing about this plant is the smell. When you crush the stems and leaves, it smells like citrus! To me it’s lemony, but the common name Orangegrass may be because it’s more of an orange smell.

This plant can tolerate very dry conditions in the summer, because it’s thread-like stems and tiny scale-like leaves minimize transpirational water loss. It’s not a great competitor, but it’s seeds stay viable for years or more, so it can hedge it’s bets on the future.

Alternate Names: Orangegrass
Size:  4"-16" tall.
Family: Hypericaceae (St. John's Wort Family) 
Habitat: Sterile, sandy, bare, open sites in full sun. 
Identification: Similar looking to a ground pine, this tiny-leafed upright plant's stems and leaves appear scaly and almost like pineneedles (hence the name). It has small star-shaped yellow flowers that open in the summer, and then tiny red fruit capsules that almost look like bugs along the stems later in the season. When you crush the stem/leaves, it smells like citrus. Blooms July-October
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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