WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Standing 8–12 inches tall and forming clumps with loosely branching stems from the base, the square stems and leaves are covered with long, soft, spreading hairs. Numerous tube-shaped, violet to purple flowers grow in the leaf axils along the upper stems. Skullcaps get their name from the cap-like capsule that remains on the plant after dropping the seeds.


FLOWER: March–May. Bilaterally symmetrical flowers, 1/4–1/2-inch long (6–12 mm), grow in pairs in the upper leaf axils. The upper lip is short, cupped, and horizontal. The lower lip, 1/8–1/4-inch long (3–6 mm), has 3 spreading, drooping lobes, the middle with 2 white bars with purple spots. The hairy, cap-like seed capsules (arrow) remain on the plant after dropping the seeds.


LEAVES: Opposite. Blades densely hairy, 1/4–3/4-inch long (6–20 mm), rounded to oval; on short-stalks (petioles) 1/4-inch long (6 mm) near base, becoming stalkless (sessile) up the stem; margins entire to slightly scalloped.


HABITAT: Rocky, sandy soils, roadsides; desert grasslands and scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands.

ELEVATION: 3,000–6,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ, LA, NM, OK, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 5 Skullcap species in NM,  many widespread with only slight variations. Mexican Skullcap, S. potosina, in so. NM, has foliage covered with small, curled or glandular hairs (use lens). Generally, Skullcaps differ from other Mints by having bluish-purple flowers with two white bars or spots on the lower lip lobes and cap-like seed capsules. 


NM COUNTIES: Low-elevation habitats in the se quarter of NM: Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, Socorro.

DRUMMOND'S  SKULLCAP

SCUTELLARIA  DRUMMONDII

Mint Family, Lamiaceae

Annual herb

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The hairy, cap-like seed capsules (arrow) remain on the plant after dropping the seeds.

The  leaves are hairy and rounded to oval, with the upper blades stalkless (sessile).

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