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Scutellaria serrata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
skoot-ul-AIR-ee-uh sair-AY-tuh
Description

Showy skullcap is a native perennial wildflower in the Lamiaceae (mint) family that can be found growing in dry, rich open woods, thickets or clearings, typically on west-facing slopes in the piedmont or mountain regions of North Carolina.   The common name skullcap comes from the shape of the caylx at the base of the flower resembling a skull.

Plant in full sun to filtered shade with well-draining moist to dry soil.  This skullcap is more tolerant of shade than other members of this genus. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil pH. The rounded clumps reach a height and width of 1 to 2 feet.

t has blue spikes of showy flowers that bloom later in the spring  and into the summerproviding a pop of color after most other wildflowers have faded.  The opposite leaves on square stems, as typical of the mint family, have some purple around the margins as they age turning an attractive purple color in the fall.  Though it is a member of the mint family it does not the pungent odor common to mint when the leaves are crushed.

Growing in clumps and patches, it does not spread by stolons or rhizomes.  Mass plant it or let it naturalize in a woodland garden, or plant it along a border front.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: No significant diseases or insect damage.  Development, logging, and clearing in mountain forests are a detriment to this plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shade garden#low maintenance#mass planting#bumblebees#NC native#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#border front#flowers early summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#moth larvae#fall color purple#bee friendly#Audubon#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shade garden#low maintenance#mass planting#bumblebees#NC native#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#border front#flowers early summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#moth larvae#fall color purple#bee friendly#Audubon#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Scutellaria
    Species:
    serrata
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A. to Illinois
    Distribution:
    A, DC, FL, KY, MD, MS, NC, JH, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees and other pollinators.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Screening
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a nutlet that appears soon after flowering June to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1" violet-blue flowers on terminal raceme. Flowers bloom May through July. Erect tube, a hood-like upper lip, and a 2-lobed, spreading lower lip. The flowers are larger than other members of the genus.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite oval to ellipitcal, 1/2" long petoile, 2"-4" long 2"-3" wide leaves, coarsely toothed and pointed. Almost hairless. Leaf margins are purple, leaves turning full purple in the fall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Smooth stem with 8 or fewer leaves.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat