November 30, 2008

Petite Perennial: Scutellaria suffrutescens

Such a pretty, petite perennial deserves a better nickname than "pink skullcap." Scutellaria suffrutescens 'Texas Rose' is a cute little thing that blooms almost non-stop by my front garden gate. The snapdragon-shaped blooms are a beautiful, deep rose color.

'Texas Rose' is a tough little cookie, too. She tolerates drought and fends for herself without any pampering, making her an excellent plant for xeriscaping. If you're a gardener who has a "no whining" sign hanging in your garden, you may want to consider adding 'Texas Rose' to a full-sun location.

Since scutellaria is in the mint family, she repels deer and rabbits. Planted around the stone column at my garden gate, she is constantly abused by the opening and closing of the gate. This variety is hardy in zones 7a-10b.

Even in the cold winter months, she is evergreen in my zone 7 garden, making 'Texas Rose' the perfect perennial to greet my guests all year round. Standing only 8 inches tall and spreading 15 inches wide, she makes a great edging plant for walkways and sunny borders. Tuck her into a rock garden and she'll add blooms almost all summer and into autumn.

Scutellaria suffrutescens 'Texas Rose' can be grown from seeds sown in the fall, or by propagating herbaceous stem cuttings. Rose has been in my garden for two years. She has passed the test for front yard beauty and toughness, so I plan to extend my plantings of Rose along my front walkway. 'Texas Rose' is definitely a keeper!

Story and photos by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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