Creeping Skullcap
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Creeping Skullcap
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Creeping Skullcap, Prostrate Skullcap
Botanical name: Scutellaria repens    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Scutellaria cana, Scutellaria wallichiana

Creeping Skullcap is a perennial, scrambling, somewhat woody herb. Stems are up to 1.5 m long, rising, quadrangular, leafy, with usually lateral flowering branches. They are covered with long, white hairs, usually with patent, glandular hairs above. Lower leaves are narrow oblong-ovate, 0.9-4.5 cm long, 0.6-1.9 cm broad, decreasing in size up the stem, toothed, pointed at the tip, with rounded-wedge-shaped base. Upper leaves are broad oblong-ovate, 2-6 x 2-3 mm, entire, wedge-shaped, blunt or pointed. Lower leaf stalks about 2-10 mm long. Inflorescences are lax, in leaf axils. Flowers are arranged only one one side of the spikes, in axils of upper, bract-like leaves. Flower-stalks are 2-4 mm, erect or spreading-erect, usually with small basal scales, sometimes flattened. Sepal-cup is 1.5 mm with a small scutellum in flower, enlarging in fruit to 3 mm with a 3 mm high scutellum. It is covered with hairs. Flowers are yellow-pale violet, 1.4-1.7 cm, with glandular or eglandular hairs, tube 0.8-1 cm, slender at base. Nutlets are smooth, black, covered with white prostrate hairs, 1.2 x 0.8 mm. Creeping Skullcap is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Sikkim and Burma, at altitudes of 600-2100 m. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Morni hills, Haryana & Uttarakhand.

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