Scutellaria lateriflora

Mad Dog Skullcap

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Mad Dog Skullcap is a low-growing perennial with tiny, tubular, two-lipped blue flowers blooming from July to early October.

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Mad Dog Skullcap is a low-growing perennial in the mint family with a square stem and toothed, opposite leaves that are dark green above and light green underneath. Its tiny, tubular, two-lipped blue flowers bloom from July to early October.

Native to freshwater wetlands, this plant is a good choice for moist to wet low spots and shorelines of streams and ponds. The flowers attract native bees. The plants are also bitter and slightly toxic to deer and rabbits.

The genus name comes from the Latin word scutella, or a small dish or saucer, which refers to the shape of the persistent calyx after the flowers fade. The leaves have a history of use in herbal medicine. The common name of Mad Dog Skullcap is a reference to the belief that this plant could cure rabies, which has been proven false.

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Blue Skullcap

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Summer, Late Summer to Fall

Bloom Colors: Blue, Purple

Deer Resistance: High

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators

Salt Tolerance: Low to None

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

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic

Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Full Sun

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet

Drought Tolerance: None

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 2 - 3 ft

Spread: 1.5 - 2.5 ft

Growth Rate: Medium