Scutellaria costaricana, Skullcap

Scutellaria costaricana

Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Costa Rica
Small plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeShadeRegular waterYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

Grown in a USDA Zone of 9-11, Scutellaria costaricana (Skullcap), a native of Costa Rica, is a great choice for almost any garden. This small shrub usually grows up to 2 to 5 feet in height, with elliptic and oval-shaped leaves that are deeply veined and up to 3 to 6 inches long. It is a highly attractive and low-maintenance plant that thrives best in either partial shade or semi-shade environments. It prefers regular watering, though it does not tolerate too much moisture in the soil.

These beautiful plants produce showy racemes of orange-scarlet tubular flowers with contrasting purple-brown calyx. Blooming year-round with bright light and warm temperatures, Scutellaria costaricana is also a great addition to attract hummingbirds and butterflies and other pollinators. It can be grown as an annual in colder climates, as it prefers a warmer, tropical-like environment.

When planting Scutellaria costaricana outdoors in cold climates or areas, select a sunny spot for the best growth. Be sure to choose a soil that drains well, as this plant does not tolerate water-logging. Compost the soil with phosphorus-based fertilizer and ensure adequate drainage at the roots.

In colder regions where temperatures dip below freezing, Scutellaria costaricana can be grown in pots. Choose a container with plenty of room for root growth and using a light, well-draining potting mix. Place the pot where it can get some sun, at least 6 hours per day. Though it will not be as cold-hardy in a pot, with the right amount of protection and regular care, it has the potential to be a long-term addition to your landscape.

Scutellaria costaricana is a beautiful plant that can be an eye-catching feature in warm climates, with its red and crimson vinous flowers and contrasting yellow and orange varieties. It is the perfect choice for attracting pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies, and is sure to add beauty and interest to any garden.

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