Tutsan (Sweet Amber)
New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Pest (NPPA)
Hypericum androsaemum (Tutsan) is a semi-evergreen shrub with ovate, opposite, pale green leaves, often bluish-green on the underside, that grows to about 1.5m tall. Leaves may have red blotches. It produces Yellow flowers with 5-petals and long stamens in clusters of 2-8 flowers, from mid-spring to mid-summer. The fruits, approx 1cm diameter, are red and turn black when ripe. Tutsan produces many, long-lived, seeds that are easily dispersed by birds, soil and water movement, and possibly opossums.
Tutsan is found in disturbed forest and shrubland, low-growing habitats, tussock and bare land, rocky and open streams, coastal areas and roadsides. It prefers wetter cooler areas but is tolerant to a wide range of temperatures and light shade.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader