Skullcap, or Scutellaria lateriflora, is an herb in the mint family. It’s a hardy perennial USDA zones 4-10. It gets one foot high and about 2 feet wide. Without going in depth into the medicinal qualities of the plant, we will say that it is generally agreed that it works on the nervous system. It can have a calming effect on the mind and may be helpful for insomnia and anxiety. Scullcap plants make a profusion of small lavender flowers throughout the summer, making an excellent food source for pollinators. Skullcap plants in or around the vegetable garden will increase the biodiversity of insects, hence greatly aiding in pest control. It is one of the more beautiful medicinal herbs on the farm. If you grow Scullcap, you will always be able to harvest it as needed.
When planting, incorporate some compost into the soil. Plants don’t require much once established other than water and mulch. These plants are vigorous, and just a few of them can provide you with a supply of tea for the winter, or plenty to tincture. For tinctures it is best used fresh, not dried. We use tincture in a bedtime sleep enhancing formula. This plant prefers to grow in full to part sun, and well drained soil. Once established, the plants are tolerant of deer, pests, and drought.