Subshrubs or shrubs, erect or decumbent to prostrate, unbranched or branched, sometimes diffuse and mat-forming, 0.5–3 or 3–15 dm. Stems: internodes 2-winged. Leaf blades oblanceolate or narrowly oblong or elliptic to linear, 7–25 × 1–8.5 mm, base not articulated, usually cuneate, sometimes rounded, with glandlike auricles, margins subrecurved, apex rounded to obtuse, midrib with 1–2 pairs of branches. Inflorescences narrowly cylindric to pyramidal, 1–12-flowered from 1–4 nodes, sometimes with branches from to 10 proximal nodes, or branching more elaborate and pseudodichotomous; pedicels erect in fruit, bracteoles distal. Flowers 10–20 mm diam.; sepals persistent, enclosing capsule, 4, unequal, outer ovate-suborbiculate to narrowly elliptic, 5–12.5 × 2–13 mm, apex subapiculate to obtuse, inner lanceolate, 1–4 × 2 mm, apex acute; petals 4, bright to pale yellow, obovate to narrowly oblong-elliptic, 6–12 mm; stamens persistent, 40–50; ovary 2-merous. Capsules narrowly compressed-ovoid to cylindric-ellipsoid, 5–9 × 2–4 mm. Seeds not carinate, 0.6–0.8 mm; testa finely linear-reticulate to linear-foveolate.
Ala., Ark., D.C., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Mass., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Mexico, West Indies (Bahamas, Greater Antilles), Bermuda, Central America (Guatemala, Honduras).
Subspecies 3 (2 in the flora).
Hypericum hypericoides can be distinguished from H. crux-andreae by the two-merous ovary, narrower leaves, smaller flowers, and more richly-branched stems. It is variable in leaf and sepal shape and size; three subspecies can be recognized.
The erect bushy form (subsp. hypericoides) is most widespread and has given rise to a northern diffuse form (subsp. multicaule) in the United States and a prostrate form (subsp. prostratum N. Robson) in Hispaniola.
|1||Plants erect, usually unbranched from base and freely branched well above ground level; leaf blades usually narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong, broadest near middle.||Hypericum hypericoides subsp. hypericoides|
|1||Plants decumbent to prostrate, branching from base; leaf blades usually oblanceolate, broadest beyond middle.||Hypericum hypericoides subsp. multicaule|