Scutellaria pekinensis
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Scutellarioideae
Genus: Scutellaria
Synonyms [1]
  • Anaspis Rech.f.
  • Cruzia Phil.
  • Harlanlewisia Epling
  • Perilomia Kunth
  • Salazaria Torr.
  • Theresa Clos

Scutellaria is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. They are known commonly as skullcaps.[2] The generic name is derived from the Latin scutella, meaning "a small dish, tray or platter",[3] or "little dish",[4] referring to the shape of the calyx.[4] The common name alludes to the resemblance of the same structure to "miniature medieval helmets".[4] The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution,[5] with species occurring nearly worldwide, mainly in temperate regions.[6]


Most Scutellaria are annual or perennial herbaceous plants from 5 to 100 cm (2 to 39 in) tall, however a few are subshrubs. Some Scutellaria are aquatic. Scutellaria have four-angled stems and opposite leaves, and flowers with upper and lower lips. The genus is most easily recognized by the typical shield on the calyx that has also prompted its common name.

Traditional use

Skullcaps are used in traditional medicine, such as in traditional Chinese medicine.[7] The root of Scutellaria baicalensis – a common component of many preparations[8] – is marketed in volumes that have led to the overexploitation of the wild plant. Its rarity has led to an increase in price, and encouraged the adulteration of the product with other species of Scutellaria.[9]

In 1773, Scutellaria lateriflora became a common treatment in North America for the hysteria and hydrophobia caused by rabies.[10] Today it is still a popular medicinal herb.[11] It is widely available as a commercial product used in western herbalism.[12] The plant reportedly commands prices of $16 to $64 per pound dry weight.[13]


The main compounds in skullcap are flavonoids.[9] Isolated chemical compounds include wogonin, wogonoside, and 3,5,7,2',6'-pentahydroxyl flavanone found in Scutellaria.[14] Other constituents include baicalin, apigenin, oroxylin A, and scutellarein.[15]

Selected species

Main article: List of Scutellaria species

Estimates of the number of species in the genus range from around 300[4][6] to about 350[7][16] or 360[17] to 470.[5][18][2][19][20][21][22]

Selected species include:

See also


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Scutellaria L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  2. ^ a b "Scutellaria". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  3. ^ Scutellaria parvula var. missouriensis. Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
  4. ^ a b c d Joshee N, Patrick TS, Mentreddy RS, Yadav AK (2002). "Skullcap: Potential medicinal crop". In Janick J, Whipkey A (eds.). Trends in New Crops and New Uses. Alexandria, Virginia: ASHS Press. pp. 580–6.
  5. ^ a b Ulloa, C. U. and P. M. Jørgensen. Scutellaria. Árboles y arbustos de los Andes del Ecuador. eFloras.
  6. ^ a b Scutellaria. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
  7. ^ a b Shang X, He X, He X, Li M, Zhang R, Fan P, Zhang Q, Jia Z (2010). "The genus Scutellaria an ethnopharmacological and phytochemical review". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 128 (2): 279–313. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.006. PMID 20064593.
  8. ^ Cole I, Cao J, Alan A, Saxena P, Murch S (2008). "Comparisons of Scutellaria baicalensis, Scutellaria lateriflora and Scutellaria racemosa: Genome Size, Antioxidant Potential and Phytochemistry". Planta Medica. 74 (4): 474–81. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1034358. PMID 18484546. S2CID 31127513.
  9. ^ a b Guo X, Wang X, Su W, Zhang G, Zhou R (2011). "DNA Barcodes for Discriminating the Medicinal Plant Scutellaria baicalensis (Lamiaceae) and Its Adulterants". Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 34 (8): 1198–203. doi:10.1248/bpb.34.1198. PMID 21804206.
  10. ^ Scutellaria lateriflora. Southern Cross Plant Science. Southern Cross University.
  11. ^ Li J, Wang YH, Smillie TJ, Khan IA (2012). "Identification of phenolic compounds from Scutellaria lateriflora by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet photodiode array and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry". Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 63: 120–7. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2012.01.027. PMID 22342658.
  12. ^ Gao J, Sanchez-Medina A, Pendry BA, Hughes MJ, Webb GP, Corcoran O (2008). "Validation of a HPLC method for flavonoid biomarkers in skullcap (Scutellaria) and its use to illustrate wide variability in the quality of commercial tinctures". Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 11 (1): 77–87. doi:10.18433/J39G6V. PMID 18445366.
  13. ^ Janke, R. A Grower's Guide: Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora). MF-2628. Cooperative Extension, Kansas State University. 2004.
  14. ^ Lim BO (2003). "Effects of wogonin, wogonoside, and 3,5,7,2′,6′-pentahydroxyflavone on chemical mediator production in peritoneal exduate cells and immunoglobulin E of rat mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 84 (1): 23–9. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00257-X. PMID 12499072.
  15. ^ Awad R, Arnason JT, Trudeau V, Bergeron C, Budzinski JW, Foster BC, Merali Z (2003). "Phytochemical and biological analysis of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora L.): a medicinal plant with anxiolytic properties". Phytomedicine. 10 (8): 640–9. doi:10.1078/0944-7113-00374. PMID 14692724.
  16. ^ Scutellaria. Flora of China.
  17. ^ Pool A (2006). "New Species of Scutellaria (Lamiaceae) from Mesoamerica". Novon. 16 (3): 388–403. doi:10.3417/1055-3177(2006)16[388:NSOSLF]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 20406083. S2CID 86160022.
  18. ^ Hsu TW, Kuo CC, Tsai CC, Chiang YC (2009). "Isolation and characterization of 16 microsatellite markers from a rare and endemic species, Scutellaria austrotaiwanensis (Lamiaceae)". Conservation Genetics Resources. 1 (1): 85–8. doi:10.1007/s12686-009-9020-0. S2CID 27063502.
  19. ^ Scutellaria, list of taxa. Flora of China.
  20. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Scutellaria". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  21. ^ Scutellaria, list of taxa. Flora of Pakistan.
  22. ^ Choi H, Kang WS, Kim JS, Na CS, Kim S (2021). "De Novo Assembly and Species-Specific Marker Development as a Useful Tool for the Identification of Scutellaria L. Species". Current Issues in Molecular Biology. 43 (3): 2177–2188. doi:10.3390/cimb43030152. PMC 8929090. PMID 34940126.
  23. ^ Çiçek M, Ketenoğlu O (2011). "Scutellaria anatolica (Lamiaceae), a New Species from Turkey". Annales Botanici Fennici. 48 (3): 276–9. doi:10.5735/085.048.0309. S2CID 83741723.
  24. ^ Turner BL (2011). "A new species of Scutellaria (Lamiaceae) from Oaxaca, Mexico" (PDF). Phytologia. 93 (2): 241–4.