Florida Scrub Skullcap



Botanical Name:  Scutellaria arenicola

Common Name:  Florida Scrub Skullcap

Description:  Skullcap is a beautiful Florida native perennial that should be used way more in our gardens than what it is.

Florida scrub skullcap is a perennial that is considered semi-evergreen. During very cold winter it may die all the way back, but in normal winters a basal rosette of leaves will stay green. Plants quickly reach a mature height of 2-3′ by late June and then begin flowering at the end of the main stem.  Older plants produce multiple rosettes so they produce multiple flowering stalks. A well-grown, mature plant may have half a dozen flowering stalks. Like most skullcaps, the flowers are a very pretty blue to purple color with a white lip. Florida Scrub Skullcap is the second most common species observed throughout Florida. It can be found in sandhill and scrub habitats and prefers well-drained soil environments. Likes well drained soil in a sun, part sun, or part shade area of your garden. Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.

Florida scrub skullcap is nearly endemic to peninsular Florida and a few north Florida counties near Jacksonville, and in parts of Georgia. Medicinal benefits of Scutellaria spp. are attributed to flavonoids present in vegetative and root tissue.

Has some salt tolerance of inundation by brackish water, but not by pure salt water. Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.

Plant Lore:  Purple foliage is common in many Scutellaria species, and is a sign of anthocyanin content, which often accumulates under environmental stressors such as light intensity. The name Scutellaria is derived from the Latin word “scutella,” which translates to “little dish,” referring to the structure of the calyx. The calyx protrudes over the base of the flower, resembling a cap or helmet, hence the common name skullcap.

This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-12″ tall.

Hardiness Zones 8 – 10 / East Gulf Coastal Plains Ecoregion

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