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PlantFiles: Pink Texas Skullcap, Cherry Skullcap
Scutellaria suffrutescens

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Scutellaria (skew-teh-LARE-ee) (Info)
Species: suffrutescens (suf-roo-TES-kens) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Kaufmann
Thumbnail #1 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by Kaufmann

By dmj1218
Thumbnail #2 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by dmj1218

By dmj1218
Thumbnail #3 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by dmj1218

By broncbuster
Thumbnail #4 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by broncbuster

By plantladylin
Thumbnail #5 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by plantladylin

By stephanietx
Thumbnail #6 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by stephanietx

By AnniesAnnuals
Thumbnail #7 of Scutellaria suffrutescens by AnniesAnnuals

There are a total of 8 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Fires_in_motion On May 19, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Looks somewhat weedy and the leaves are nothing special, but it does great with zero care (by care I mean shade, water, fertilizer, winter protection, etc.) here in S. Louisiana. Stays in a compact clump and flowers quite regularly. After 2 years in the ground, mine is only about 1.5 feet wide and under a foot tall. And since it's a native plant, I have to give it a thumbs-up. The main reason to grow this is that it forms a such a dense clump that light cannot pass through it and it hence acts as a great weed barrier. I bought mine at a big-box store with initials HD in 2012 and have never seen it for sale at that store, nor at any local independent nurseries, nor at plant shows. So if you see one, buy it. Then again, it's easily propagated by sticking a cutting in a glass of water and waiting a few seconds for long white roots to pop out.

Update, summer 2014: Both of my plants have died as a result of massive flooding this May (14" in 48 hrs.) (They did survive the icepocalypse winter we had.) I've lowered my rating from Positive to Neutral and cancelled my zipcode report for my area code, 70090. Oddly, some cuttings I kept in my kitchen in a glass of water did fine for several months, so water on the roots does not appear to be the problem. The problem is apparently the microorganisms in the outdoor soil that become overabundant after the ground gets waterlogged. And my plants never really got a pleasing color of green, probably due to heat stress. Overall, I don't recommend it for Louisiana.

Positive coriaceous On Mar 4, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In Boston, MA (Z6a) this is a performs beautifully as a bedding plant. Blooms its head off nonstop all summer and fall. Foliage stays fresh-looking all season.

Doesn't make it through our winters.

In commerce, I often see this plant labeled "Scutellaria frutescens".

Positive KWM_SA On Apr 26, 2013, KWM_SA from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I've been growing these happily for 3-4 years and keep adding more because they do so well in South Texas. This February I pruned back fairly hard the oldest ones which had quite a bit of dead wood from a very dry summer. They've perked right back up and filled in.

I have them growing in full sun (western exposure) on a slight slope -- some soil over rock. They appreciate some supplemental watering during the summer if it does not rain -- particularly if you want them to bloom. They reliably bloom late spring and in the fall -- a deep purple-pink. Mine have never frozen back in the winter (at least a few exposures to temps in the mid-20s).

They're very tidy and mine are less than 1' tall and the oldest ones are around 2' across. A great plant to grow at the front of the bed or under a taller leggier plant (mine are with Damianita daisy, Mexican feathergrass, Mexican oregano, and Salvia greggii)

Neutral Diana78131 On Jul 8, 2012, Diana78131 from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I live in south central texas. I planted my skullcap two years ago...they did great year one and through last year's drought. But this year they seem very leggy...not full and mounded as I had hoped. The flowering has also tapered off. Just not sure why...I am wondering about pruning back (like salvia) but cannot find anything on the web about care and upkeep. It does make a lovely border when it is full and bushy...

Positive mcrousse On Jul 26, 2010, mcrousse from Holly Springs, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I got 2 little starts of this plant last fall. I planted them in a full sun area with soil on the dry side (not clay) and hoped for the best. Not only did they survive, they have thrived, and have started to spread and bloom even more! They survived 3 days of temperatures in July over 100 degrees with high humidity and look completely unfazed. I am impressed! I will have to get more of these.

Positive Marylyn_TX On May 22, 2007, Marylyn_TX from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

In Houston (zone 9a) it is evergreen and has been very happy in partial shade with very little attention. It looks beautiful spilling over the edge of my garden and I need some more of it!

Positive transplant2nc On Mar 28, 2007, transplant2nc from Concord, NC wrote:

In Concord NC (7A) This plant has grown beautifully for four years with no water and no care, blooming all summer, in full sun, and horrible soil full of old tree roots, with winter temps down to 10 degrees F. I'm interested in learning how to propagate it to produce more.

Positive princessnonie On Jul 23, 2006, princessnonie from New Caney, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I am right on the line between 9a and 8b and am wondering if this plant freezes down and returns, or is it evergreen all year.. And does it really do OK in full TEXAS sun with no supplanmental water after it's established..?

Positive dmj1218 On Jun 18, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a tough, drought tolerant plant which thrives and never stops blooming once it starts. It seems equally happy in clay pots in full sun or in the ground with full sun. It would make a great ground cover or edging (much like lirope is used) and be much more beautiful than most. An under-used and under-valued landscaping plant for Texas, in my opinion; but quickly gaining in popularity as it is really tough. This plant is native to northeastern Mexico; and grows in a mounding shape about 18" high and spreads about 2' wide in my garden.

Positive pbtxlady On Jun 24, 2005, pbtxlady from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

They take our Texas Augusts beautifully, in full sun, but I can't say how they will do without supplemental water. Mine are on a drip system. They start blooming in early April and are covered with blossoms until the end of November.

I would love to propagate this plant, but haven't been successful with cuttings. Anyone know if it can be divided?

Positive hashenk On Jun 3, 2005, hashenk from New Braunfels, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I sat the other morning and watched several hummingbirds feast on these blooms. It was really neat to watch...they passed up my hummingbird feeder for the blooms.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama
London, Arkansas
Richmond, California
Daytona Beach, Florida
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Concord, North Carolina
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Austin, Texas (5 reports)
Bulverde, Texas
College Station, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Evant, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Garland, Texas
Geronimo, Texas
Haltom City, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Katy, Texas
Kurten, Texas
Lake Jackson, Texas
Leander, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas (2 reports)
Palestine, Texas
Pflugerville, Texas
Portland, Texas
Rosenberg, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (3 reports)
Waxahachie, Texas

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