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ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Tutsan, St John's Wort, Sweet Amber
Botanical name: Hypericum androsaemum    Family: Hypericaceae (St John's Wort family)

Tutsan is a unique in that no other St John's Wort has berries or is a shrub with substantial woody stems and branches. The others may be somewhat woody at the base but are much smaller plants with flowers less than 1.8 cm in diameter. This plant is is a shrub, 50-90 cm tall, native to open woods and hillsides in Eurasia. Flowers are 1.8-2.8 cm in diameter. Sepals are unequal. Stem has 2 raised lines. Fruit turns black when ripe. The common name tutsan appears to be a corruption of toute saine literally meaning all-healthy. This is probably in reference to its healing properties.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are used applied to wounds, and as a stomachich. Nicholas Culpeper, in his 1653 publication Culpeper's Complete Herbal, says "Tutsan purgeth choleric humours ... both to cure sciatica and gout, and to heal burnings by fire." It will also stop bleeding and heal wounds and sores. Apparently it works just as well if it swallowed or used as a salve or ointment. The berries which turn from white/green, to red, to black are poisonous.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Hazuribagh Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.
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