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Tutsan: the healthy hypericum

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Tutsan: the healthy hypericum

Gardeners will be familiar with Rose of Sharon, a large flowered shrub of the Hypericum family and Rose of Sharon has escaped and become naturalised in the wild here in Britain but if you encounter a largish, shrubby Hypericum in woodland it is more likely to be our native version, tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum). Tutsan grows in damp woods and shady places and is not uncommon in woodland in Dorset. The lovely yellow flowers of June and July give way to large poisonous berries, red at first turning black with age.

Tutsan sounds to me as if it should originate from the southern states of America but Wikipedia reveals that the name appears to be a corruption of toute saine which literally means "all healthy".  Herbalist Nicholas Culpepper considered tutsan was useful to purge stomach complaints and the leaves were often used to heal wounds. These medicinal properties lead us to the all healthy name!


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 4 months ago

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