Scutellaria incana (Hoary Skullcap, Downy Skullcap)

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Scutellaria incana (Hoary Skullcap, Downy Skullcap)

I have always liked "scoots" as I call them, the varied species of Scutellaria.  Many are excellent plants for the rock garden, some can be aggressively spreading by stolons (so be forwarned, do your research), and there are well-behaved tall types suitable to the perennial border or wildflower meadow garden.

I was given a plant of Scutellaria incana by a garden visitor, and it turns out to be a highly ornamental plant, now among my favorite scoots.  The species is native to much of eastern USA, found in 3 different varieties (var. incana, var. australis, var. punctata); I'm assuming mine is var. incana.

While it does grow 1.5 - 3' tall (mature plants can reach 4'), it an elegant plant of refined growth and leafage, valued for the super long display of flowers July through September (mine continue into October, witness my photos) when few other herbaceous plants are flowering, followed by an autumn show of whimsical purplish red seed pods.  This plant has it all going on.

I show photos of a young flowering plant in 2008, and a couple views in 2009 after the plant put on lots of growth and numerous spikes of bloom.  For further photos and information, including range maps, check out the links provided.

USDA Map
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SCIN

an alternate distribution map (click on map to enlarge):
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.everwilde.com/BONAP-Wildf...

3 good images
http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDeta...

Rob's Plants (some good images)
http://www.robsplants.com/plants/ScuteIncan.php

Image from University of Texas at Austin
http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=24550

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Excellent photo essay, Mark!
That's a very attractive plant, and it certainly does have a lot going for it even beyond the flowering season.  I'll definitely keep an eye out for seeds.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I'm looking at plants from a new vantage point recently, of proven drought resistance, given endless weeks of heat and drought this year.  With Scutellaria incana more established after planting three years ago, not only does the plant show very little stress from drought, it has grown larger and with more stems, and just breaking out into flower here at the beginning of August, a welcome and imposing sight in the garden.  The stems have reached 3-1/2' (105 cm) tall.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Today, a good overall view of Scutellaria incana.  A few of the lower leaves are turning yellow from the drought, but overall, I'm most impressed at how the plant is doing given that it's had almost no rainfall (and no hose watering) in 2 months.  We may be needing to pay special attention to such drought-resistant plants in the future, even here in New England.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Cross-linking to 2010 photos of the seed pods of Scutellaria incana, which put on a great show this year in spite of the record drought.
 

Note: no way to resolve links from the old NARGS Forum to this new forum, so I'm uploading two photos showing the beautiful seed pods. These photos taken Sept 18, 2010.

 

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Just starting to flower, later than normal judging from dates on past years photos.  The plant now reaches 4' tall, going to make a grand show this year.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Scutellaria incana looks very nice, Mark. And the late flowering makes it useful at this time of the year.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Fermi
Fermi's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-03

Wow, Mark, 

that's as impressive in seed as it is in flower!

i hope it sets plenty of seed this year as I'll be looking for it on the Seed List!<grin>

cheers

fermi

Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I've made a note to collect seed on it this year, not hard to miss as I do enjoy looking at the attractive pods.  Seed is late ripening, perhaps sometime in October.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Fermi
Fermi's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-03

Mark McD wrote:

I've made a note to collect seed on it this year, not hard to miss as I do enjoy looking at the attractive pods.  Seed is late ripening, perhaps sometime in October.

Did you remember, Mark?

cheers

fermi

Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I did remember, seed stems harvested (hopefully not too early), still in a paper bag.  Once again missed the deadline to donate seed to NARGS.  Thanks for the reminder.

Going to use the newly added "Read Reply Later" capability (button on bottom right of every message) as a method to remember to enact on your request.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Pages

Log in or register to post comments