Plant DetailShow Menu

Scutellaria incana is often confused with:
Scutellaria serrata Scutellaria serrata
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Monarda didyma Flowers
Solidago chilensis Solidago odora in the fall in Moore County
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea

Scutellaria incana

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
skoot-ul-AIR-ee-uh in-KAN-nuh
Description

Downy skullcap is a native perennial wildflower in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.   Found growing in shady dry forests and open woodlands, and along slopes and streambanks. The square stems are covered with fine white hairs and small purplish-blue flowers bloom in loose racemes in summer. The genus name comes from the Latin word scutella meaning a small dish or saucer. These plants have bitter-tasting leaves so are usually ignored by deer and rabbits.

It prefers moderate moisture in well-drained soil but tolerates sandy, clay, and poor soils. It grows in dry woods or clearings. This plant is tolerant of heat and drought. 

This plant was selected as the 2014 NC Wildflower of the Year, a program managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden with some financial support from the Garden Club of North Carolina.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Scutellaria incana var. punctata
Scutellaria incana var. punctata
Tags:
#drought tolerant#rabbit resistant#bumblebees#NC native#summer flowers#deer resistant#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#food source pollen#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#moth larvae#Audubon#NC Wildflower of the Year#dry shade
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Scutellaria incana var. punctata
Scutellaria incana var. punctata
Tags:
#drought tolerant#rabbit resistant#bumblebees#NC native#summer flowers#deer resistant#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#food source pollen#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#moth larvae#Audubon#NC Wildflower of the Year#dry shade
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Scutellaria
    Species:
    incana
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host to moths. Bees and butterflies visit the flowers
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The 2 parted capsule contains nutlets. The top portion falls off to release seeds while the scoop section stays on the plant. Fruits are available August-October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Purplish-blue flowers in loose racemes up to 6 inches long. Individual flowers are 3/4 inch long, 2-lipped with the upper lip hooded and the lower with a white patch near the throat. Flowers bloom July-August.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    White
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The green ovate leaves are covered with minute whitish hairs on the undersides. Margins are crenate. They grow up to 3 inches long and 1.5 inches across.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Square stem covered with fine white hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    English Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Rabbits