Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

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:

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Possible mildew on standing cypress
May 29, 2008 - My mother-in-law took some standing cypress seeds from Texas to Virginia several years ago. They have always done very well, but this year they are growing very tall, but the bottom half of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

Getting milkweed seeds into seed mixes from Milwaukee WI
February 07, 2014 - My husband and I are concerned about the Monarch butterfly migration and have started an effort to get milkweed planted along some bike trails here in Wisconsin. This made me think of Ladybird Johnso...
view the full question and answer

Is Scutellaria suffrutescens native to Texas from San Marcos TX
May 02, 2012 - Is Scutellaria suffrutescens (Pink skullcap) a Texas native? I have found many conflicting answers and even seen it called Texas skullcap on sites that say it's native to Mexico. We will consider you...
view the full question and answer

Information on non-native caladiums from Austin
June 21, 2012 - Have you a leaflet on growing caladiums in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Starting shade-tolerant ground covers in New York
September 10, 2013 - Hi, I have seen some of the posts for shade-tolerant ground cover on the east end of Long Island and my question is process related. Now that I've identified the grasses/plants I need to keep my fro...
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.