En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Companion planting with heartleaf skullcap from Arlington TX

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Arlington, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Companion planting with heartleaf skullcap from Arlington TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What can I plant with heart-leaf skullcap when it goes dormant in the summer?

ANSWER:

Scutellaria ovata (Heart-leaf skullcap) is a perennial, evergreen in winter, 1-3 ft. tall, and blooms blue, violet from April to June. According to this USDA Plant Profile map, it does not grow natively in North Central Texas, but rather in Central and East Texas. We are not sure what you mean as "dormant," perhaps the non-blooming period after June? If that is true, we will presume you are looking for a companion plant that will provide color in the area into the Summer and Fall. 

We will look at plants native to North Central Texas, both annual and perennial, and assume they can do well in the same environment in which your skullcap is located. On our webpage on this plant (which you can read in full by following the plant link above) is this information:  "Native Habitat: In open woodlands, along roads, and on brushy slopes in East and South Texas. Moist sand, loam, clay, limestone." Also on that page are the Growing Conditions for skullcap:

"Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Conditions Comments: Heart-leaf skullcap is an under-utilized plant for gardens. The showy blue flowers bloom on spikes similar in form to Salvia sp. It colonizes vigorously by underground, fleshy roots. Oily glands on the leaves make it possibly deer resistant. In winter, heartleaf skullcap displays evergreen foliage. Nectar source for adult butterflies."

In terms of planting other plants in the same bed, we would call your attention to the sentence "It colonizes vigorously by underground, fleshy roots." This plant is a member of the Lamiaceae, or Mint family, which is well known for vigorous colonization, if not invasiveness, sometimes impeding the establishment of other plants. We will go to our Recommended Species section, click on North Central Texas on the map; then, on the right-hand sidebar, select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant" under General Appearance, and the blooming months of June, July, August, September and October, and Narrow Your Search, which gave us 37 choices. We have four examples of plants that we like below; you should read every webpage on those four, and then look at other possibilities, paying attention to the amount of sunlight and moisture available.

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) - perennial, 3 ft tall, blooms blue July to November

Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo) - 3 ft. annual, purple July to September

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tahoka daisy) - 1 ft., annual, blooms blue June to October

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) - 1 ft., perennial, blooms white March to November

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Conoclinium coelestinum


Eryngium leavenworthii


Machaeranthera tanacetifolia


Melampodium leucanthum

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Wildflower Center work on non-native, invasive Bastard Cabbage from Austin
March 20, 2014 - Still have cabbage weeds that infiltrated Austin awhile back. How did Wildflower Center resolve it?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with native plants in Austin
October 06, 2005 - I'm expanding a flower bed in front of my house and would like to keep it all natives. 1) How do I find out what type of soil I should add? (I live near Hyde Park, Austin and haven't had a soil te...
view the full question and answer

Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native in Dallas, TX?
July 15, 2011 - Is Hibiscus coccineus still considered native?. I recently was told by someone with the Native Texas Plant Society that it was no longer thought to have crossed the Sabine naturally. Thoughts...
view the full question and answer

Comment on poisonous sweet pea plant from Kalama WA
October 29, 2011 - No question, comment only. I am aware of the story of Christopher McCandless (Call of the Wild)and the belief that he was poisoned by ingesting part of the sweet pea plant; however I am curious what ...
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center