Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Lamiaceae, or mint family
Skullcap, Blue skullcap, Mad dog skullcap, Side-flowering skullcap
Traditionally, the leaves and stems are harvested when flowering and then dried for medicinal use.
USDA Growing Zone(s): Skullcap is hardy to zones 3-9.
Skullcap is a North American perennial herb, native to swampy areas in the mint family with bluish purple flowers. It grows well in full sun with afternoon shade, likes rich-loamy soil with regular water. Apply fertilizer 1-2 times a season.
It can grow up to three feet tall under ideal conditions. Harvest top 6-10 inches of stem all through the flowering stage. Cut dieback to the ground in fall/winter and provide light mulch. Weed well in early spring to eliminate competition.
It has traditionally been used by Native American tribes to soothe the nerves and relieve nervousness and stress. Native American tribes taught European colonists how to use skullcap medicinally and thus helped spread its use back to Europe.
Stories & Traditions
The shape of the flowers is reminiscent of medieval European soldier helmets, which is where it gets its common name.
This content is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine.