21 June 2014

Bright yellow flowers

I see these tiny, intensely yellow flowers growing wild all around the vineyard at this time of year. It appears they are the wild form of the plant I know in French as (among other names) millepertuis — meaning "a thousand holes" — after the appearance of their leaves.

Millepertuis is also called l'herbe de la Saint-Jean, or in English Saint John's Wort. La Saint-Jean
Saint John's day — falls on June 24. It seems to like calcareous soils, which means it thrives in our area.

The French Wikepedia artile lists all these names for millepertuis : chasse-diable, herbe aux fées, herbe aux mille vertus,
herbe de Saint Eloi, Barbe de Saint-Jeanherbe à mille trous, herbe percée, herbe à la brûlure,
herbe aux piqûres, herbe du charpentier, trascalan, truchereau, trucheron, trucheron jaune...

We have a whole bank of millepertuis growing along the road and our fence, as well as at the side of the house.
It's obviously a cultivated variety, with bigger flowers. Here's a photo from last summer, in this blog post.


  1. Ken, the are lovely but probably they don't grow at my place.Yellow is my favourite colour

  2. Ken, they aren't actually "trous" at all, but tiny little lenticelles [or lenses]....
    sometimes clear enough to see a murky view through if you use a powerful hand lens...
    it is a nice plant... has medicinal values that, however, are now frowned upon.

  3. They look beautiful Ken.
    I had ( the rabbits keep eating the plant every yr no matter how I protect it) a Peruvian Lily ( Alstroemeria Aurea) of the same colour as those millepertuis.
    It's a day off for us on Tuesday ( la St Jean comme l'appelle ici).
    Seems that the SNCF strike is still going on.

  4. It's a lovely color. I've always know it as l'herbe de la Saint Jean [St John's Wort] because of when it flowers -- easy to remember as the 24th - St Jean - in my birthday. Millepertuis is very descriptive though.

    1. An early happy birthday wish to you, Antoinette.

  5. They are lovely plants. I used to have them in my garden and they somehow disappeared. It would be nice to have them again.
    In Hungary lightening bugs (fire flies) are called St. John's bugs (Szent Janos Bogar) because his feast is when they begin to appear.

  6. It's said that an extract of St John's Wort is good for (not that I'm suggesting you need it) relieving depression.


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