Scutellaria lateriflora, Scullcap, "mad-dog weed" seeds
Scutellaria lateriflora seeds
Scutellaria lateriflora belongs to the family of the Laminaceae, the labiates. It is better known
as skullcap. The plant has this nickname because her flowers look like little helmets. S.
lateriflora is native to Northamerica, but meanwhile it can be also found in Europe.
The shoot is tetragonal as known from the Laminaceae. The plant is herbaceous, perennial
and reaches a height of about 80cm. The leaves get 5 to 7 cm long and 2 to 4 cm wide. They
are ovate, oblong and dentate at the leaf edge. The leaves on the ground are more heart
shaped. The flowers are bluish and zygomorphic which means that is separated into the upper
lip and the bottom lip. The flowers stand in grapes in the axilla of the leaves.
The seeds are very small and brownish yellowish.
The roots are yellow and used in Chinese medicine. Due to the fact that is known as skullcap
in English speaking countries one associates this with a death’s head and might think that the
plant is poisonous which it is not. The plant is used in medicine against nervousness. It has
also an antipyretic and antispasmolytic effect.
In the 18th century it was discovered that S. lateriflora helps against rabies. This gave her the
name “mad- dog weed”.
S. lateriflora needs a one week period in the fridge before it can be planted (Stratification).
After that it can be planted about 0, 5 cm deep into the soil. S. lateriflora needs it moist all the
time. It should be placed sunny. Germination occurs in 1 to 3 weeks.