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Scutellaria lateriflora - L.

Common Name Virginian Skullcap, Blue skullcap
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Tincture overdose causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and seizures. Possible liver toxicity. may interfere with the immune response. Avoid during pregnancy [301].
Habitats Alluvial thickets, meadows and swampy woods[43].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Florida and Ontario.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Scutellaria lateriflora Virginian Skullcap, Blue skullcap


Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln.
Scutellaria lateriflora Virginian Skullcap, Blue skullcap
Patrick J. Alexander @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Scutellaria lateriflora is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Cassida lateriflora (L.) Moench

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticonvulsant;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Miscellany;  Nervine;  Sedative;  
Tonic.

A commonly used herbal medicine, Virginian skullcap is a very effective nervine that has traditionally been used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions. Its tonic and restorative properties help to support and nourish the nervous system, calming and relieving stress and anxiety[222, 238, 244, 254]. Very little research has been carried out on this species, despite its long use in American and British herbal medicine[244]. Research is sorely needed, and may reveal more uses for this valuable herb[254]. The leaves are antispasmodic, slightly astringent, diuretic, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic[4, 21, 46, 165]. They are harvested in early summer and dried for later use[4]. It is used in the treatment of various problems of the nervous system including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquillisers, and neuralgia[222, 238, 244]. An infusion of the plant has been used to promote suppressed menstruation, relieve breast pain and encourage expulsion of the placenta[213, 254], it should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage[238]. This plant should be used with some caution since in excess it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching[238]. The plant was once believed of use in the treatment of rabies, though there is no evidence to support this[207, 213].

Other Uses

Miscellany.

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season[200]. Plants are not so long-lived when grown in rich soils[4]. Many of the plants grown under this name in gardens are in fact S. altissima[238]. It is important to ensure you have the correct plant if using it medicinally[238].

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Propagation

Seed - sow in situ outdoors in late spring. If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Basal cuttings in early summer in a frame. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Scutellaria baicalensisBaikal Skullcap - Huang-Qin13
Scutellaria barbataBarbed Skullcap02
Scutellaria galericulataCommon Skullcap, Marsh skullcap03
Scutellaria indica 11

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43235

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

anja   Wed Sep 16 2009

hello can anyone tell me wich part of this plant can be used to treat epilepsie (roots leaves stems flowers))

david (volunteer)   Wed Sep 16 2009

The aerial parts,e.g., leaves were used to treat epilepsy (according to:Herbs. Colins Eyewitness Handbooks by Lesley Bremness) Bremness says it was used in the past for epilepsy but not any more, so I'd be very careful, we always recommend consulting a Doctor with herbs for serious conditions. I don't know a lot about this plant, I once drank it for stress, seemed to do no harm.

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Subject : Scutellaria lateriflora  
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