Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Showy Skullcap - Scutellaria serrata   Andrzedowski
Members of Lamiaceae:
Members of Scutellaria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Lamiaceae
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AuthorAndrzedowski
DistributionScattered over the Mountains and Piedmont, perhaps occurs in most counties, though likely absent from a few southern Piedmont counties. Does not occur in the Coastal Plain.

This species has a fairly small range centered around VA and NC, ranging from southeastern PA and southern OH, south to central SC and northern GA.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent in the Mountains and northwestern Piedmont; infrequent in the north-central Piedmont, but rare in the southern Piedmont and the extreme northeastern Piedmont. Most numerous in the north-central Piedmont. Despite records from at least 31 counties, it seems odd and unnecessary for the NCNHP to still be having the species on its Watch List. The website editors feel that no such listing is necessary, and the State Rank should be downgraded to S3, if not even S3S4.
HabitatThis is a species of mesic to rich hardwood forests, mostly on slopes. It occurs in Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forests, Basic Mesic Forests, Rich Cove Forests, and probably Acidic Cove Forests. It is not restricted to high pH soils, as is S. ovata.
PhenologyBlooms from mid-May to late June, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a generally unbranched Scutellaria of short to medium height, mainly to 1-1.5 feet tall. It is a smooth plant, with only a few pairs of opposite leaves. Each leaf has a petiole about 1/2-inch long, with a rather large ovate to nearly elliptical blade, about 4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide, with serrated margins. This species almost always has just a single terminal raceme, somewhat naked with no bracts, to about 4 inches long, with about 10-12 flowers. Each flower is about 1-inch long and lavender-blue. The species could be confused with S. incana, as the leaves are somewhat similar, but that species always has a handful of smaller racemes, both a terminal one and always several from upper axils. S. ovata is quite hairy overall and has leaf blades that are cordate at the base. The flowers in this species are as large or larger than in other NC species. This is by no means a rare species in the state, and an active biologist working the mountains or Piedmont can encounter it from time to time, without having to target natural areas or high pH soil sites.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2S3 [S3]
Global RankG4G5
State StatusW1
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
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