perennial

Alpine Skullcap

Scutellaria alpina ssp. supina

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Alpine Skullcap (Scutellaria alpina ssp. supina) at Ray Wiegand's Nursery

Alpine Skullcap flowers

Alpine Skullcap flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  12 inches

Spacing:  15 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Helmet Flower

Description:

A beautifully flowering herbaceous groundcover with spikes of showy violet flowers accented in white; spectacular when in mass bloom; lovely in the garden, or along low borders

Ornamental Features

Alpine Skullcap features showy spikes of violet pea-like flowers with a white beard rising above the foliage from mid summer to early fall, which emerge from distinctive purple flower buds. Its serrated narrow leaves remain bluish-green in color throughout the year.

Landscape Attributes

Alpine Skullcap is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Alpine Skullcap is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Alpine Skullcap will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 12 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 15 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 4 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Alpine Skullcap is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features