Photo of Scutellaria integrifolia

Scutellaria integrifolia

Helmet Skullcap

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Violet-colored flowers resembling snapdragon blooms appear in June-July.

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The beautiful flowers provide color in the garden during the lull when the spring flowers are finished and you are awaiting the late summer grandeur in July and August. Flowers are borne in clusters at the stem-tips, and also sometimes in the axil of the leaves. Fused petals form a hood over the lower lip, which displays a distinct white spot, signaling a landing platform for visiting bees. Dried fruit capsules appear in July-August.  Arrow-shaped leaves form a basal rosette, lengthening with the stem’s growth. Helmet Skullcap prefers moist to dry well-drained soil, in partial shade or full sun. A member of the Mint Family, it self-spreads through seed, although seedlings are generally easy to remove from unwanted areas, and easily transplanted. Prune back right after blooms fade to discourage self-seeding. Established plants thrive with little maintenance. Lovely in mixed flower gardens in the front of beds, or along the edge of a pond. Naturally occurring in open dry woodlands and fields. 

Wildlife Value: Pollinated predominantly by bees, and visited occasionaly by small butterflies. Birds feed on the seeds. 

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Large Skullcap

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Late Spring to Early Summer

Bloom Colors: Blue, Purple

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Birds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: Piedmont - P, Highland - H, Coastal Plain - CP

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial-Sun

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 1 - 2.5 ft

Spread: 1 - 2 ft

Growth Rate: Medium