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Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata (Heartleaf skullcap)
Cressler, Alan

Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata

Scutellaria ovata Hill ssp. bracteata (Benth.) Epling

Heartleaf Skullcap, Heart-leaf Skullcap

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Synonym(s): Scutellaria ovata var. bracteata

USDA Symbol: scovb

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Blue violet flowers 13 to 25 mm long with a whitish lip on 10 cm racemes, 30 to 76 cm tall, blooms late April to early July and spreads by tubers and rhizomes. Hairy stems, the hairs gland tipped in some forms. The leaf blades are ovate, up to 10 cm long, indented at the base, scalloped or blunt toothed, hairy or downy on the under surface on long petioles. Seeds brown, often obscurely banded near the base, with blunt to sharp conical pegs.


From the Image Gallery

30 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Margin: Crenate
Leaf Base: Cordate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Flower: Flowers 1 inch long
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , FL , IL , KS , LA , MO , MS , OK , TX
Native Distribution: Maryland to Minnesota and southward to South Carolina, eastern and central Texas and Mexico.
Native Habitat: Grows more abundant on westward facing terrain and often associated with limestone or calcium bearing rocks.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Plants go dormant over the summer and there can be a lot of loss due to rotting over the summer. Probably best to water pots infrequently over summer.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Take cuttings in fall as soon as the tips emerge. Seed works too but germination not as reliable. Plants go dormant over summer and there can be alot of loss due to rotting over the summer. Probably best to water pots infrequently over summer.
Maintenance: Gardeners cut back seedheads in early summer.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: GHH

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