Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Ignaz Alberti: Hypericum perforatum
This hand-colored engraving by Ignaz Alberti of Hypericum perforatum, St John's wort, is in Volume One of Icones Plantarum by Ferdinand Vietz. It was published in 1800. Although information points to Alberti being the owner of a print shop in Vienna and associating with Free Masons, I've been able to discover little else about him. Is his name familiar to you?
In my maritime Pacific Northwest garden, Hypericum perforatum was a plant that ran rampant, that managed to thrive where little else would: in dry shade. I suppose that should have made me cherish it. Instead, I'm afraid I tended to curse its toughness. However, if you're looking for a plant to grow in acid soil and dry shade, this might be the ticket. N.b. that it is designated as a noxious weed in seven of the United States.