A SPECIES OF: St, John's Worts
ALSO KNOWN AS: Sweet-amber, Park-leaves, Bible-leaf, Shrubby St. John's Wort
BOTANICAL NAME: Hypericum Androsaemum
SYMBOLISM: Good health, cheer, and inspiration.
DESCRIPTION: Hypericum Androsaemum is a small shrub that grows up to 2 feet high. It has five petals, with stamens about as long as the petals.
NAME STORY: Tutsan comes from the French toute-sain meaning "all heal" due to its medicinal utility. This berry-bearing shrub is common in the Mediterranean basin where it has been traditionally used as a diuretic and hepatoprotective herb.
INTERESTING FACTS: In New Zealand, tutsan was recognized 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.It is also a declared species in Western Australia and Victoria, 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.