Scutellaria incana Biehler - Skullcap
Family - Lamiaceae
Stems - 4-angled, erect, herbaceous but stout, to 1m tall, single or multiple from the base, mostly simple below the inflorescence, tomentoulose with antrorse hairs (especially on the angles), with a single groove between each angle. Angles rounded.
Leaves - Opposite, decussate, petiolate. Petioles to +/-2.5cm long, with a fairly deep adaxial groove, tomentoulose, somewhat ascending or spreading. Blades ovate, to +/-10cm long, +/-6cm broad, crenate, acute at the apex, rounded to truncate or shallow cordate at the base, deep green with impressed veins adaxially, light green with expressed veins abaxially, sparse appressed pubescent adaxially, tomentoulose abaxially.
Inflorescence - Dense lateral and terminal racemes. Racemes ascending, to +/-14cm long. Axis of racemes 4-angled, green, densely tomentoulose (the hairs antrorsely bent). Pedicels to 3mm long, pubescent as the calyx and axis, subtended by reduced foliaceous bracts. Bracts on the lowest pair of flowers large but the others quickly reduced upward and ultimately becoming subulate-linear.
Flowers - Corolla to +/-2.5cm long, zygomorphic, bilabiate, tomentoulose externally, much less so internally, whitish at the base, purple at the apex. Upper lip 3-lobed. Central lobe galeate. Lateral lobes acute, folded into the central lobe, creating a straight "hinge" along the lower lip of the corolla. Hinge to 1cm broad. Lower lip single-lobed, deep purple and with a white central splotch internally, white below, to 1cm long. Stamens 4, didynamous, included under the galea of the upper lip, adnate to the corolla tube near the "hinge" of the flower. Free portion of the filaments to +1cm long, white to lilac, pilose in the basal 1/2, glabrous apically. Anthers to 2mm long, purple when fresh, with a dorsal margin of dense pilose hairs. Style inserted between the stamens, included under the galea, whitish, glabrous, uncinate at the apex, to 2.5cm long. Ovary superior, deeply 4-lobed. Lobes globose, green, glabrous, .4mm in diameter in flower, arranged in an "auditorium seat" fashion with one pair of lobes higher than the other pair. All lobes resting on a large nectary. Nectary with whitish glands. Calyx green, bilabiate, 3-4mm long in flower, accrescent, densely antrorse appressed pubescent externally, glabrous internally, with a short dorsal protuberance. Lips of calyx entire, rounded at the apex, about 1.5mm long. Calyx tube to 3mm long in flower.
Flowering - June - September.
Habitat - Rocky open woods, ledges along bluffs, ravines, wooded slopes along streams, thickets, roadsides.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This striking species is most commonly found in the southern half of the state. The plant produces bigger and more dense inflorescences than any other Scutellaria species in Missouri and is certainly worthy of cultivation.
Photographs taken near Stegal Mountain, Shannon County, MO., 6-28-03.