Heyde's Skullcap
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Heyde's Skullcap
P Native Photo: Yves Lemennicier
Common name: Heyde's Skullcap
Botanical name: Scutellaria heydei    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Heyde's Skullcap is a distinctive high alpine plant growing up to, and over, 4000 m; characteristic features are its scree-like habit, the condensed inflorescences, the long fringed with hairs, hairy bracts and the membranous-inflated scutellum in fruit. Heyde's Skullcap is named in honour of Enrique Teophila Heyde, Guatemalan cleric and plant collector. It is a perennial prostrate woody herb with a woody rootstock. Stems are 5-30 cm, the longer ones rooting at intervals, prostrate, slender, round-four-edged, leafy, much branched. Leaves are 6-14 x 6-11 mm, ovate to broadly ovate, hairy, regularly rounded toothed, wedge-shaped, pointed or blunt, carried on leaf-stalks 2-11 mm. Inflorescence is 4-sided, condensed, abbreviated, at branch-ends or lateral. Flowers are subtended by elliptic to broadly elliptic, 6-13 x 3-6 mm bracts which are entire, wedge-shaped, pointed, purple or green, thin-textured, overlapping, hoodlike and densely glandular-hairy. Flower-stalks are 2.5-5 mm, erect, flattened. Sepal-cup is 1.5-2 mm, enlarging in fruit to 4 mm. Flowers are 2.3-3.1 cm, yellow to purplish, spreading-erect or erect, externally glandular- and eglandular-hairy; tube 1.8-2.5 cm. Heyde's Skullcap is found in high Himalaya, from Afghanistan, Pakistan to Tibet, West Himalaya, at altitudes of 2700-4000 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Yves Lemennicier Photographed in Zanskar, Ladakh.

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