Scutellaria elliptica

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Scutellaria elliptica
Scutellaria elliptica.JPG
Photo by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae ⁄ Labiatae
Genus: Scutellaria
Species: S. elliptica
Binomial name
Scutellaria elliptica
Muhl. ex Spreng.
SCUT ELLI dist.jpg
Natural range of Scutellaria elliptica from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Hairy skullcap

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: S. ovalifolia Pers.; S. ovalifolia ssp. mollis Epling

Variety: Scutellaria elliptica Muhlenberg ex Sprengel var. elliptica; Scutellaria elliptica Muhlenberg ex. Sprengel var. hirsuta (Short & Peter) Fernald


"Perennial herbs with quadrangular, erect to ascending stems; stolons absent, or present and underground. Leaves sessile or petiolate. Racemes bracteate, often paniculate. Calyx zygomorphic, 2-lobed, the upper lobe crested, very small in flower and enlarging in fruit; corolla zygomorphic , upper lip galeate, 3-lobed, lower lip unlobed, usually white in the throat. The blue-flowered species occasionally have white flowered forms. Stamens 4, exserted; stigma 2-parted. Mericarps dark brown to black, closely set with tubercles or papillae in somewhat concentric rings, rounded, often somewhat flattened."[1]

"Plant not stoloniferous, forming clumps of 1-3, rarely more, stems. Stems erect, 1.5-8 dm tall, simple or branched above, pubescent, with 3-5 pairs of leaves below branches or inflorescence. Leaves elliptic to rhombic-ovate, 3-8 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide, acute to obtuse, crenate, base cuneate to truncate; petioles usually obscured by decurrent blade tissue. Racemes 1-5, rarely more, 3-8 cm long; bracts reduced upward. Calyx 2-3 mm long in flower, 6-8 mm in fruit; corolla blue to violet, rarely white, 1.2-2 cm long. Mericarps tuberculate, 1.5-1.7 mm long."[1]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida, S. elliptica can occur in upland pines.[2] Associated species include pines, sweetgum and dogwood.[2] S. elliptica responds negatively to agricultural-based soil disturbance in South Carolina coastal plain communities. This marks it as a possible indicator species for remnant woodland.[3]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 902. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: R. A. Norris, Robert K. Godfrey. States and Counties: Florida: Leon. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.