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skullcap seeds

Baikal Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis)

Baikal and American skullcap varieties are not interchangeable and are used to treat different conditions.

Baikal or Chinese skullcap resembles American skullcap but its blue or purple flowers are borne on single stems and it is a shorter plant that is less than 2 feet high. It is the root of Baikal skullcap that is used medicinally.

Baikal Skullcap is a prized Chinese herb known as Huang-qin. It is used for hypertension, headaches, high blood pressure, respiratory infections, liver problems, dysentery and fevers. It recent years, it has become especially well known for its broad-spectrum antiviral properties. It is considered one of 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine.

Both skullcaps should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Both native and Chinese skullcap prefer moist, fertile but well-drained soil in partial shade to full sun. Skullcap seeds germinate at a high rate naturally but do even better with a short period of stratification. Lightly tamp seeds into soil in flats and transplant after all danger of frost is over. Once established, skullcaps are hardy in most North American locations.

Skullcap is easy to grow but does not transplant well. To increase plantings, divide roots carefully or take cuttings in early spring.

The deep blue or purple flowers of both skullcaps make them very attractive garden additions.

All Seeds

All seeds are grown on our farm without the use of chemicals; and are open-pollinated, hybrid-free and GMO-free. The seeds are hand-gathered and hand-processed in small batches each year.

Blue Skullcap Seeds

Blue Skullcap Seeds

Our own farm-grown Blue Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) seeds for organic growing.

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All seeds are grown on our farm without the use of chemicals; and are open-pollinated, hybrid-free and GMO-free.

1 pkg (approx 60-80 seeds)

Common Names
Blue Skullcap, Mad Dog Skullcap

Botanical Name
Scutellaria lateriflora

Plant Family
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Native Range
Across entire continent of North America except the far north.

Life Cycle
Perennial

Hardiness Zone
3-8

Habit
A Mint Family member, Skullcap grows in a similar manner to its Mentha spp cousins. It spreads by underground rhizomes and forms dense patches of luminous light-green square-stemmed leafy stalks to 2 ft tall.

Sun/Soil
Skullcap likes rich moist soil and can be found in the wild growing along edges of wetlands and streams. In the garden it does fine if given fertile soil and a good soaking every other week or so.

Germination/Sowing
Easy to start from seed. Seeds are started indoors in flats and the transplanted out once seedlings are sturdy. They can also be direct sown in spring.

Growing/Care
Plants can be cut back in fall time. Skullcap patches can be dug and divided every few years to increase vigour and prevent the plants from crowding themselves out.

Harvesting
Once it produces its sea of delicate light blue flowers in mid August, the aerial parts of the herb can be harvested, and tinctured or infused in honey. The herb is best used fresh as the dried herb looses much of its potency.

Culinary Uses
None known.

Medicinal Uses
I like to tell my students that Skullcap is like a big warm cozy blanket. Or more precisely: Skullcap is like being tucked into a big warm cozy blanket under clean sheets on the most comfortable bed ever after the best day you had hiking in an alpine meadow with your best friends. You feel soothed, calm, a bit giddy with contentment, and perfectly sleepy.

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Skullcap has a sedative, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxant effect through its effect on the neurotransmitter GABA. This mechanism is similar to how tranquilizing drugs such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or alcohol, affect the nervous system (but without being narcotic and highly addictive). Skullcap also acts as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, increasing the levels of this feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain.

Themes
Native Plant Garden, Apothecary Garden, Low Maintenance, Deer Resistant, Attracts Pollinators.

Skullcap, Official (Scutellaria lateriflora) seeds, organic

(Mad Dog Skullcap, Virginia Skullcap, Blue Skullcap) Herbaceous perennial native to the US. Plant prefers part shade to full sun and rich, moist soils. Traditional usage: TWM, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression. The plant itself is likable and unassuming, with a multi-stemmed, upright habit, reddish stems and blue flowers protruding sideways at the axils (thus lateriflora, which is very often and incorrectly called “laterifolia” in the herb industry). Plant prefers fertile, moist soil, part shade to full sun. Sow seed in garden in cool soils of fall or early spring, or give 30 days moist refrigeration by mixing with peat moss, coir or sand in a plastic bag or glass jar in the fridge. Then, sow in warm soil. Germ in 30 days. Thin or transplant to 1 foot apart. Flowers blue/purple to 3 feet tall.