The Large-Flowered Skullcap

Scutellaria montana

Description: The large-flowered skullcap is an herbaceous member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is perennial with lanceolate to ovate leaves that are covered by hairs on both surfaces. Flowers are relatively large, blue-white in color, and are borne in a terminal inflorescence.

Distribution: Its distribution is restricted to a small number of populations in north Georgia and southeast Tennessee. One of the largest populations occurs along the Tennessee River Gorge just west of Chattanooga.

Ecology: Plants occur in the understory of mature hardwood forests on relatively dry sites in sparse populations. Flowers open in mid May through early June. The pollination biology of this species has not been described and plants often seem to have limited seed set.

Status: In 1986 this species listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because of its restricted distribution and habitat loss due to timbering and development. S. montana is also listed as endangered in Tennessee, and threatened in Georgia.

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