A native of Europe, Common St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a spreading perennial who grows throughout New England, especially where soil has been recently disturbed. This plant is a joy to observe close up. Notice the black dots that mark the edges of the flower petals and the tiny holes that allow light to pass through the leaves. May the photos in this post encourage you to get outside and find a patch to observe first-hand.
Preparations of this plant have been used as medicine to treat various conditions, from skin ailments to depression. Oils infused with flower buds or newly opened flowers take on a surprising red color. For more on the medicinal uses of Common St. John's-wort, I recommend reading pages 197-202 in Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide (2012). (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)