Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skullcap Hosts Frost Flowers

Frost flowers on Skullcap
Ruby Ball of Audubon, Missouri Native Plant Society and seemingly every other nature connected organization is always an astute observer of all things wild.  It makes sense that she would be one to report a new species hosting frost flowers.  Here is her report:
"You may want to add Skullcap to your list of frost flower plants.  A couple years ago the skullcap at the front door of the Nature Center had frost flowers 2 or 3 days in a row." 
Skullcap refers to the Scutellaria species, Lamiaceae, which are more fully described at this Purdue horticultural site. The plants she describes at the Nature Center are downy or hoary skullcap, Scutellaria incana, a member of the mint family.  They are found across the Eastern US as well as in southern Missouri. 

In addition to a source of nectar, S. incana serves as a host plant for a specific species of moth,
Caloptilia scutellariella.

There are good pictures and plant descriptions at Missouriplants.com.

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