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Hypericum androsaemum

Hypericum androsaemum (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Malpighiales

Familia: Hypericaceae
Genus: Hypericum
Sectio: H. sect. Androsaemum
Species: Hypericum androsaemum

Hypericum androsaemum L.

Hypericum bacciferum Lam., Fl. Franç. 3: 151 (1779), nom. superfl.
Androsaemum vulgare Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 282 (1788).
Androsaemum floridum Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 369 (1796), nom. superfl.
Hypericum floridum Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 369 (1796), nom. superfl.
Androsaemum androsaemum (L.) Huth, Helios 11: 133 (1893), nom. inval.
Hypericum bacciforme Bubani, Fl. Pyren. 3: 343 (1901), nom. superfl.
Androsaemum officinale All., Fl. Pedem. 2: 147 (1785).
Hypericum webbianum G.Nicholson, Hand-List Trees Shrubs 1[Polypet.]: 37 (1894), nom. inval.
Hypericum androsaemum f. variegatum D.C.McClint. & E.C.Nelson, Moorea 5: 26 (1986).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Eurasia & Africa
Belgium, Great Britain, Channel Isl., Bulgaria, Corsica, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia & Kosovo, Montenegro, Portugal, Sardinia, ?Sicily, European Russia, Northern Caucasus, Georgia [Caucasus], Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey (N-Anatolia, NE-Anatolia, NW-Anatolia: Bithynia, S-Anatolia), Turkey-in-Europe, Iran (N-Iran, Iranian Aserbaijan)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 784. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Hypericum androsaemum in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan 07. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Hypericum androsaemum. Accessed: 07 Jan 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Hypericum androsaemum. Published online. Accessed: Jan 07 2022. 2022. Hypericum androsaemum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 07 Jan 2022.
Castroviejo, S. et al. (eds.) 2014. Hypericum androsaemum in Flora Ibérica. Plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica, e Islas Baleares. Published online. Accessed: 2014 Feb 08. Reference page.

Vernacular names
čeština: třezalka bobulovitá
Deutsch: Blut-Johanniskraut
English: Tutsan
suomi: Englanninpensaskuima
français: millepertuis androsème
русский: Зверобой красильный

Hypericum androsaemum, also referred to as Tutsan, Shrubby St. John's Wort, or sweet-amber,[1] is a flowering plant in the family Hypericaceae. It is a perennial shrub reaching up to 70 cm in height, native to open woods and hillsides in Eurasia.

Common name

Tutsan comes from the French toute-sain meaning all heal due to its medicinal uses. This berry producing shrub is common in the Mediterranean basin where it has been traditionally used as diuretic and hepatoprotective herb. In the Portuguese ethno-medicine, the plant is locally known as ‘Hipericão do Gerês’ and it used as diuretic, hepato protective and antidepressant.[2] In Spain, the infusion of the flowering aerial parts is used as an antidepressive and anxiolytic.[3] In England, tutsan ointment is used to dress cuts and wounds. The berries turn from white/green, to red, to black. According to Shepherd (2004) all parts of the plant, particularly the fruit, are toxic due to the presence of hypericin, causing nausea and diarrhoea in humans, however, several studies carried out to specifically detect hypericin in tutsan have produced negative results (Rees 1969; Kitanov 2001; Maggi et al. 2004). On the other hand, Tutsan berries contain numerous organic biologically active compounds.[4]

Hypericum androsaemum was described by Carl Linnaeus. It is in the genus Hypericum, and is the type species of the section Androsaemum.

Hypericum androsaemum is a small shrub growing to 70 cm high. The stamens are about as long as the petals, of which it has 5.[5]

Chemical composition

Numerous compounds have been isolated from H. androsaemum: polyphenols such as shikimic acid, gallic acid, catechin hydrate, epicatechin, p-coumaric acid, trans-resveratrol, caffeic acid, trans-ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, and 3,5-di-Ocaffeoylquinic acid, rutin, quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, hypericin, and hyperforin.[6]
Biosynthetic pathways

Xanthonoids are present in this plant. Biosynthesis in cell cultures of Hypericum androsaemum involves the presence of a benzophenone synthase condensing a molecule of benzoyl-CoA with three malonyl-CoA yielding to 2,4,6-trihydroxybenzophenone. This intermediate is subsequently converted by a benzophenone 3′-hydroxylase, a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, leading to the formation of 2,3′,4,6-tetrahydroxybenzophenone.[7]
Invasive plant

In New Zealand, tutsan was recognised as a pasture weed as early as 1955. Biological control methods were investigated about 60 years ago. In 2008, Landcare Research began investigating the feasibility of a biological control. The moth Lathronympha strigana which primarily feeds on the seeds but also on tutsan leaf tips and inside stems, and a leaf-feeding beetle (Chrysolina abchasica) were tested and found to be sufficiently host specific and not a risk to native plant species. In February 2017 moths have been released at 30 sites around the central North Island in New Zealand, but the beetle is more difficult to rear in captivity, so only one release of them has been made so far.[8]

It is also a declared species in Western Australia[9] and Victoria,[10] where it occurs in the wettest regions such as the Otway Ranges and the karri forests. It does not usually invade improved pastures, but is common in run-down pastures and in native forests. When established, tutsan can be dangerous because it is very difficult to remove and is very unpalatable to both native and introduced herbivores.

USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Hypericum androsaemum". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
Valentão et al., 2002; Carvalho, 2010;Ramalhete et al., 2016
Akerreta et al., 2013
"Bibliomania: Free Online Literature and Study Guides".
Parnell, J. and Curtis, T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
Caprioli, G., Alunno, A., Beghelli, D., Bianco, A., Bramucci, M., Frezza, C., … Maggi, F. (2016). Polar Constituents and Biological Activity of the Berry-Like Fruits from Hypericum androsaemum L. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 232.
Alternative pathways of xanthone biosynthesis in cell cultures of Hypericum androsaemum L. Werner Schmidt and Ludger Beerhues, FEBS Letters, Volume 420, Issues 2-3, 29 December 1997, Pages 143-146, doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(97)01507-X
Hugh Gourlay. "Tutsan Agents Released".
"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-09-20.

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