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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Tinker's-penny - Hypericum anagalloides

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR
C-value: 7

Agency Status


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General Description
Mat-forming. Stems prostrate below, rooting at the nodes, ascending above and 2–12 cm high. Leaves elliptic, 3–10 mm long. Flowers few; petals 3–4 mm long; sepals ovate with rounded to acute tips, 2–3 mm long. Capsule 5–6 mm long with yellow seeds (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Montana has 3 native and 1 exotic species of Hypericum. All have leaves that are opposite, sessile, entire, and dotted with translucent glands. Hold a leaf up to the sunlight and see the glands.

Tinker’s-penny - Hypericum anagalloides, native and desirable
* Mature plants are 2-12 cm tall, grow along the ground, and root at leaf nodes.
* Smaller flowers with 5-yellow petals not outlined by black glands and slightly longer than sepals.
* Habitat of wetlands and wet soil in meadows along streams in montane and subalpine zones.

Western St. John’s-wortHypericum scouleri, native and desirable
* Mature plants are 5-60 cm tall.
* Large flowers with 5-yellow petals outlined by black glands.
* Sepals are ovate with rounded tips and amber veins.
* Rhizomatous and stoloniferous.
* Habitat is moist to wet areas in meadows, along streambanks, and on ledges from the valleys to the alpine zones.

Common St. John’s-wort - Hypericum perforatum, exotic and noxious
* Size: Mature plants are 25-75 cm tall.
* Flowers: 5-yellow petals outlined by black glands and showy yellow stamens.
* Sepal: 5 linear-lanceolate with acute tips.
* Branches: reddish-colored that help make the plant more noticeable in fall.
* Fruit: a 3-valved capsules with many, tiny seeds.
* Roots: taprooted and rhizomatous.

Larger Canadian St. John’s-wort - Hypericum majus, native and desirable
* Mature plants are 5-25 cm tall, grow decumbant.
* Smaller flowers with 5-yellow petals not outlined by black glands and about as long as sepals.
* Habitat along rivers, ponds, and lakes in valley and montane zones.

Range Comments
BC, MT south to CA (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Wet soil of meadows along streams, lakes; montane, subalpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus auricomus, Bombus fervidus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens (Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Tinker's-penny"
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Citation for data on this website:
Tinker's-penny — Hypericum anagalloides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from