Mussoorie Skullcap
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Mussoorie Skullcap
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Mussoorie Skullcap, Thick Skullcap
Botanical name: Scutellaria grossa    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Scutellaria mussooriensis

Mussoorie Skullcap is a perennial herb with a woody rootstock. Stems are 20-30 cm long, ascending or erect, quadrangular, leafy, simple or with lateral branches. Lower leaves are triangular-ovate, 1.5-8 x 0.6-5.5 cm, decreasing in size up the stem, strongly toothed. Base is broadly flat, tip pointed. Upper leaves are narrow elliptic 2-5 x 1-3 mm, entire. Lower leaves have stalks up to 3 cm, upper stalkless. Flowers are borne in lax clusters in leaf axils or at branch ends. Flowers occur only on ones side of the stem, in the axils of upper bract-like leaves. Flower-stalks are 2-4 mm, erect-spreading, with very small scales. Sepal is 2-3 mm in flower, enlarging in fruit to 4-6 mm, with a 3 mm high scutellum. Flowers are blue-creamy white-greenish yellow, erect, 1.5-1.8 cm, covered with glandular hairs. Flower-tube is 1-1.3 cm. Mussoorie Skullcap is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, at altitudes of 2100-3100 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.

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