Skullcap Plant: Rising Scutellaria Species Crops

Scutellaria is a big genus of herbaceous perennial vegetation within the Lamiaceae (mint) household. Different associated herbs within the mint household embrace lavender, rosemary, and basil. The genus was named after the latin phrase “scutella” which implies a small dish or cup in reference to the form of the calyx after flowers fall.The frequent identify of “skullcap” refers to navy helmets worn within the Center Ages.

There are a whole lot of skullcap herbs around the globe which have tailored to completely different rising circumstances. In North America, essentially the most extensively discovered is the native Scutellaria lateriflora species with the becoming frequent identify, the American skullcap. 

There are additionally regional varieties discovered around the globe together with Scutellaria suffrutescens (pink skullcap) and Scutellaria californica (California skullcap). Probably the most extensively studied skullcap varieties is Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese language skullcap) which has been utilized in conventional natural medicines for hundreds of years. Many skullcap merchandise are discovered in the marketplace as we speak as natural therapies.

Skullcaps are comparatively straightforward to develop and face few pests and illnesses. They bloom in showy splashes of pink, purple, white, and blue flowers. Totally different skullcap herb sorts are appropriate to completely different rising circumstances, however typically, their hardiness and sweetness make them a superb and colourful addition to many landscapes.  

Fast Care Information

Skullcap plant
Skullcap plant.
Widespread Title Blue skullcap, mad canine skullcap, side-flowering skullcap, cherry skullcap, Mexican skullcap, pink Texas skullcap, pink skullcap, California skullcap, Chinese language skullcap.
Scientific Title Scutellaria spp.
Household Lamiaceae (mint)
Top & Unfold 2-3 ft tall, 1.5-2.5 ft unfold  
Gentle Full solar to partial shade 
Soil Most species favor well-draining soil. Totally different species have completely different preferences for soil acidity. 
Water Medium to moist relying on species
Pests & Ailments Aphids, whiteflies, powdery mildew 

All About The Skullcap Plant

Skullcap buds
Skullcap buds.

The skullcap plant, Scutellaria spp., is an herbaceous perennial plant within the mint household. As with many mints, this plant additionally has sq. stalks and spreads by rhizomes and runners. They could have compact, cushion, or mound-forming development habits. 

The aerial elements of the plant will die again within the winter and are available again as new crops by forming vivid inexperienced basal rosette clusters within the spring. Many stems will emerge from the rosette because the season progresses. Use the skullcap herb in your panorama as a wildflower border, by a pond, or as a part of a rock backyard. The flowers have an added advantage of attracting pollinators.

There are lots of completely different species within the Scutellaria genus, however all of them share the tell-tale traits of getting skullcap-shaped calyx on the base of their flowers. The tubular, two-lipped, and indeterminate flowers are organized on higher leaf axils much like the look of snapdragons. Leaf axils will sometimes have as much as 14 flowers. 

Leaves are ovate and organized in an reverse configuration alongside the stems. Leaf colours vary from lime inexperienced to darkish inexperienced and a few have leaves with toothed margins. Many frequent names of skullcaps are named after colours such because the pink skullcap, cherry skullcap, and blue skullcap. Skullcap could also be spelled scullcap as one other variation. 

Some 35 species of skullcaps have been studied for his or her pharmacological potential with Scutellaria baicalensis being essentially the most extensively studied on account of its excessive concentrations of flavonoids. Whereas not regulated as a drugs within the U.S., customers can discover skullcap tea and extracts offered in the marketplace as natural remedy for nervousness, sleep problems, and extra. 

Kinds of Skullcap

Scutellaria baicalensis
Scutellaria baicalensis.

The Scutellaria genus consists of roughly 350 completely different plant species discovered all around the world in temperate areas. There are lots of species native to North America. These herbs are grown for each their decorative and medicinal worth. 

The Scutellaria lateriflora species (American skullcap) is an herb that’s native throughout North America and might be discovered as far north as Quebec and Newfoundland and as far south as Florida. This skullcap is customized to moist environments similar to marshy meadows, floodplains, ponds, streams, and so on. They’ve three variations of colour: pink, white, and blue flowers. 

They bloom from July to early October and are very suited to wetland areas. The identify “lateriflora” means “flowering on the facet” as a result of the flowers bloom alongside one sided racemes. This species can be generally often called blue skullcap, mad canine skullcap, mad canine weed, and side-flowering skullcap. Researchers are actively finding out the consequences of the blue skullcap herb on nervousness and sleep problems. 

Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese language skullcap) is indigenous to East Asia and elements of Russia. For hundreds of years, the Chinese language have been utilizing the roots of this plant in conventional and pure medicines to deal with varied illnesses together with diarrhea, dysentery, hypertension, and so on. It’s additionally generally often called the Baikal skullcap or Huang Qin. Just like Scutellaria lateriflora, this skullcap herb additionally produces blue and purple flowers. 

Scutellaria suffrutescens (pink skullcap) is understood for its showy bloom of pink flowers. Regardless of considered one of its frequent names being the pink Texas skullcap, this herb shouldn’t be native to Texas, however took off after its introduction on account of its tolerance to droughts. It may be greatest grown in rocky or sandy soil with good drainage and in full solar with some afternoon shade. This plant has a woody base that doesn’t die down yearly and its leaves are semi-evergreen in frost-free areas.  

Scutellaria californica (California skullcap) is an herb native to the low elevation mountains of Northern California. This plant produces small yellow and white flowers that bloom in June and July and is claimed to scent like apples. It prefers to develop in well-draining soil and in an space with partial shade.  

Skullcap Plant Care

Scutellaria alpina
Scutellaria alpina.

Skullcap herbs are straightforward to take care of as soon as established. Nonetheless, completely different types of this plant have completely different necessities. Some, just like the Scutellaria lateriflora, are frequent in wetlands whereas others, just like the Scutellaria suffrutescens, are very drought tolerant.  

Solar and Temperature

Totally different Scutellaria species have completely different hardiness, solar, and temperature necessities. S.lateriflora has the widest vary and might be grown in USDA hardiness zone 2b to 7b. Different herb species have way more restricted vary and like zones 6b to 8a. On the whole, Scutellaria spp. develop greatest in 6 or extra hours of direct daylight per day with some partial afternoon shade. Solar is a significant factor to the standard and amount of flowers. 

Water and Humidity

Water and humidity necessities range vastly relying on the range. When enthusiastic about introducing a skullcap to your backyard, fastidiously think about your present circumstances and select a range best suited to your wants. Many are drought-tolerant after being established.


Most Scutellaria spp. favor medium to well-draining soil that’s excessive in natural matter and has sandy or shallow rocky textures. Soil pH preferences additionally range relying on sort. When grown as a medical herb, Scutellaria vegetation are particularly put beneath environmental stress similar to poor soil high quality to advertise the manufacturing of flavonoids.

Fertilizing Your Skullcap Plant

Skullcap flowers and foliage
Skullcap flowers and foliage.

Scutellaria spp. are hardy herbs that don’t want fertilization as soon as established. If you’re attempting to advertise extra flowers, use a slow-release fertilizer and observe the producer’s directions. Select a fertilizer low in nitrogen to advertise flowering as a substitute of leaf development.  

Pruning Your Skullcap Plant

Pruning aerial elements is helpful for this perennial herb. Early spring is an effective time to prune previous woody limbs and to advertise extra full development in the course of the plant which tends to skinny out with time. 

Skullcap Plant Propagation

Many Scutellaria spp. can germinate from seed or be propagated via taking root cuttings. They are often planted anytime through the yr and tend to self seed. Every flower stalk can produce many small black seeds. Seeds want a interval of chilly stratification and should take as much as 30 days to germinate. Nurseries specializing in native vegetation will typically promote ready-to-transplant seedlings. 


Scutellaria spp. are hardy herbs as soon as established in a backyard. They’ve only a few pest and illness points and are even deer resistant. 

Rising Issues

Scutellaria suffrutescens
Scutellaria suffrutescens.

Whereas Scutellaria herb varieties can flower if grown in partial shade, the very best situation to advertise ample flowers is to plant them in full solar. As a result of several types of skullcap vegetation have completely different rising wants, you will need to be sure to choose the best sort to your wants within the backyard. 

Don’t use a range that’s effectively tailored for wetlands in an arid rock backyard and vice versa. For instance, the mad canine skullcap or blue skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) prefers moist soil and swampy circumstances, whereas the pink skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) is native to Mexico and appropriate for arid environments. 


Skullcap vegetation don’t face severe pest points. In truth, many gardeners particularly select to make use of skullcap herbs of their landscaping as a result of they don’t seem to be consumed by deer, rabbits, or geese as a result of bitter style and gentle toxicity of the leaves.

Some types of skullcap herbs could also be inclined to aphids. These are soft-bodied bugs that use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on completely different vegetation. As a result of many aphids are plant generalists, they might feed on skullcaps. Aphids are generally discovered on the underside facet of leaves. 

Prune off closely contaminated leaves or branches and spray the plant with a powerful stream of water to knock off any remaining bugs. As a result of the skullcap herb is a crucial meals supply for pollinators, use chemical sprays as a final resort. Neem oil and insecticidal cleaning soap can be utilized each 7-10 days earlier than dawn and at nightfall to reduce their impression on pollinating bugs.

Whiteflies may be one other pest that impacts skullcap vegetation, particularly if the plant is grown inside a greenhouse. Just like the remedy of aphids, a blast of water, neem oil and different horticultural oils, and insecticidal soaps might be utilized to deal with a whiteflies infestation. 

If there is a matter with whiteflies, it’s more likely to be on many various vegetation and never simply on the skullcaps so it’s essential to regulate the general pest inhabitants within the backyard or greenhouse. 


Skullcap vegetation usually are not very inclined to illnesses and are very hardy. There have been some reported instances of powdery mildew on skullcaps, though that is an occasional challenge. Powdery mildew is a fungal illness that covers vegetation in a white coating of powdery spores. Because the illness progresses, it hinders the plant from photosynthesizing and saps the plant of vitamin. 

There are numerous therapies for powdery mildew together with spraying the plant with a sulfur spray, a milk spray, diluted baking soda, and neem oil. You can even forestall improvement of powdery mildew  by ensuring there’s good air circulation across the plant and preserving the leaves dry. Just like whiteflies and aphids, powdery mildew can be extra more likely to happen on skullcap vegetation in greenhouse settings.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Scutellaria incana
Scutellaria incana.

Q: Is skullcap a perennial?

A: Skullcap herb species are perennials that unfold by rhizomes beneath the soil and runners above the soil.

Q: Is skullcap plant invasive?

A: The skullcap plant is a quick grower, however not invasive. There are completely different skullcap herb varieties which can be native to North America together with the American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), the pink skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens), and plenty of others. These vegetation can produce an abundance of seeds and might self seed to cowl a big space of floor in only a few years. 

Q: The place ought to I plant skullcap?

A: Skullcap herbs are a superb plant for floor cowl in sunny areas, rock gardens, and by the sting of ponds. 

Q: When ought to I choose my skullcap?

A: As much as ⅔ of the plant might be harvested in August or when the flowers are in bloom. 

Q: How lengthy does skullcap take to develop?

A: Skullcap vegetation develop in a short time and might attain a full mound form in only one rising season. Over a number of years, it will possibly shortly unfold and canopy giant floor to offer showy visible curiosity in blue, white, pink, and purple flowers. 

Q: Does skullcap develop again?

A: Sure, skullcap is a perennial plant and can develop again yr after yr. 

Q: Can I develop skullcap indoors?

A: Skullcap seeds and seedlings are began indoors however then transplanted outdoors as soon as the hazard of frost has handed. 

Q: What’s the plant skullcap used for?

A: Skullcap herb and particularly the Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese language skullcap) have been used as conventional Chinese language drugs courting again to hundreds of years. The roots of the plant are used to deal with varied illnesses. There’s ongoing scientific analysis and animal research on its potential medicinal crop alternatives to deal with nervousness, irritation, and so on. 

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