March 2023 Plant of the Month for Boulder Colorado area landscapes

Cherry Skullcap

Boulder, Colorado area landscapes {Monthly Series} Cherry Skullcap or Scutellaria suffrutescens is a shrubby perennial flower that grows from 6” to 12” high and is covered in an abundance of deep cherry red blossoms that create a dramatic display. It is long blooming from summer through fall and loves the heat.

A full sun to very partial shade environment will produce the best blooms. It is not completely xeric, so it does need additional drip irrigation over the regular rainfall we receive in our Boulder Colorado landscapes, but once established will do quite well. However, it might be considered an annual here if not heavily mulched in winter. Hardiness is zone 5b or 6 on the low end, so a southern exposure near boulders or concrete will help it survive the winter season. It prefers a rocky or well drained sandy soil. It is not tolerant of wet soils. It will not self-seed in this climate and may suffer from some winter dieback which is normal for many perennials here. Experiment with a few in a select location and if there is success, plant more!
Some photos by Keith Williamson from Little Valley Wholesale Nursery, used by permission.
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