Information on Tutsan

Common Name: Tutsan
Scientific Name: Hypericum androsaemum
Irish Name: Meas torc allta
Family Group: Hypericaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Tutsan could sometimes be confused with:

Tutsan, Stinking,

Tutsan is a bushy, semi-evergreen undershrub which grows to about 60cm high.  It has most attractive yellow flowers (15-25mm across) which are in small, terminal clusters.  The flowers have five oval petals and the stamens, which are as long as the petals, are formed into five bundles and resemble pins in a pin-cushion.  They bloom from June to August. The five sepals are longer than the petals.  Tutsan's leaves are oval, hairless, about 10-15cm long with tiny little translucent dots. The fruit is berry-like, beginning with a reddish colour which becomes purplish-black later in the autumn and is eaten and spread by birds.  This widespread plant grows in deciduous wood, thickets and limestone pavements.  It is a native plant belonging to the family Hypericaceae. 

I first saw this plant in 1978 in Woodstock, Co Wicklow and photographed it in The Burren, Co Clare in 2006.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

The name 'Tutsan' is thought to have come from the French 'toute saine' meaning 'all healthy' - referring to its undoubted antiseptic properties. 

16th century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper wrote: 'It is a herb of Saturn and a most noble antivenereal.  Tutsan purgeth choleric humours .. for therein it worketh the same effects, both to cure sciatica and gout and to heal burnings by fire' .