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Skullcap, Blue

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Skullcap, Blue

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Skullcap, Blue

3.75

(Scutellaria lateriflora)

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Common Names
Blue Skullcap, Mad Dog Skullcap

Botanical Name
Scutellaria lateriflora

Plant Family
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Native Range
Across entire continent of North America except the far north.

Life Cycle
Perennial

Hardiness Zone
3-8

Habit
A Mint Family member, Skullcap grows in a similar manner to its Mentha spp cousins. It spreads by underground rhizomes and forms dense patches of luminous light-green square-stemmed leafy stalks to 2 ft tall.

Sun/Soil
Skullcap likes rich moist soil and can be found in the wild growing along edges of wetlands and streams. In the garden it does fine if given fertile soil and a good soaking every other week or so.

Germination/Sowing
Easy to start from seed. Seeds are started indoors in flats and the transplanted out once seedlings are sturdy. They can also be direct sown in spring.

Growing/Care
Plants can be cut back in fall time. Skullcap patches can be dug and divided every few years to increase vigour and prevent the plants from crowding themselves out.

Harvesting
Once it produces its sea of delicate light blue flowers in mid August, the aerial parts of the herb can be harvested, and tinctured or infused in honey. The herb is best used fresh as the dried herb looses much of its potency. 

Culinary Uses
None known.

Medicinal Uses
I like to tell my students that Skullcap is like a big warm cozy blanket. Or more precisely: Skullcap is like being tucked into a big warm cozy blanket under clean sheets on the most comfortable bed ever after the best day you had hiking in an alpine meadow with your best friends. You feel soothed, calm, a bit giddy with contentment, and perfectly sleepy.

Skullcap has a sedative, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxant effect through its effect on the neurotransmitter GABA. This mechanism is similar to how tranquilizing drugs such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or alcohol, affect the nervous system (but without being narcotic and highly addictive). Skullcap also acts as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, increasing the levels of this feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain.

Themes
Native Plant Garden, Apothecary Garden, Low Maintenance, Deer Resistant, Attracts Pollinators.