Heartleaf Skullcap

Scutellaria ovata

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Scutellaria (skew-teh-LARE-ee) (Info)
Species: ovata (oh-VAY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Deer, Arkansas

Bowling Green, Ohio

Eufaula, Oklahoma

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Austin, Texas (4 reports)

Dripping Springs, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 19, 2015, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I grow this under oak trees in very alkaline unammended calcareous soil, un irrigated, high on a hill, on the western edge of its range, west of Austin. On dry years it is a no show, on wet years it gives me joy in the spring and then disappears in the heat of the summer.. It is a plant that will cover an area. I live on a good-sized piece of land so I can give it realestate. I can see that maybe in a yard of rich garden soil and irrigation, that it might take over. It fits my Darwinian style of gardening. I am now spreading it around to other oak trees that I have cleared Mountain ashe Juniper from. It definitely trumps cedar.. It is not a plant that you want to intermix in a border. My salvia regla grow out of it very nicely. I use it as a ground cover. It has been with me for 15 years ... read more


On Mar 4, 2011, davidmk from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted S. ovata here in Austin TX 5 years ago after seeing it at the LBJ Wildflower Center. From one 4" pot it has spread to ~100 square feet area of the bed it is in. It has these bulbous roots that are difficult to pull up and the plant will regrow from them if they are left behind.
It is pretty and a native but in my front yard garden it is too aggressive and does not behave well. For some this may be desired but I want people to be aware so they do not end up battling this plant.


On Sep 6, 2007, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love mine, it looks really pretty with several stems, each with a lot of flowers. I
looked up propagation from Univ. of Teaxs at Austin website & this is what they have:
"Take cuttings in fall as soon as the tips emerge. Seed works too but germination not as reliable. Plants go dormant over summer and there can be alot of loss due to rotting over the summer. Probably best to water pots infrequently over summer.
Maintenance: Gardeners cut back seedheads in early summer."
To me that only makes sense if we flip it, since this is from a much warmer zone. Please let me know if I'm wrong!!


On Sep 2, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Heart-leaved Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata)

Purple flowers with white lower lips are in spikes at the tops of the plants, and measure nearly 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The calyx is humped on the underside. Leaves are often heart-shaped, but also may lack the indentation at the base. The leaf edges are roughtly toothed. The stems and undersides of the leaves are hairy. The plants are large, up to 2 feet (75 cm) high. Open woodlands, edges, roadsides in timbered areas, often abundant in disturbed ground such as cut-overs.