Scutellaria Ovata or

Scutellaria Ovata or

Scutellaria Ovata

A common, yet significant source of medical controversy, is licorice root. What is licorice? It's a plant with a compound known as glycyrrhizin, which is thought to have medicinal properties that have been used for thousands of years. Outside of the context of medicine, licorice is used by most of the world to flavor desserts and confectionery. The root is often dried, sliced, and then added to teas, cold beverages, and beer.The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Heart-leaved Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata ssp. ovata). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.



Faunal Associations: The flowers are cross-pollinated by long-tongued bees, particularly bumblebees and Anthophorine bees (Anthophora spp.), which suck nectar and collect pollen. Short-tongued bees and Syrphid flies may also visit the flowers, but they are too small to be effective pollinators. Swallowtail butterflies and other butterflies occasionally visit the flowers, but they are also less effective at cross-pollination according to Robertson (1929). A few species of insects feed on the leaves of Heart-Leaved Skullcap and other skullcaps (Scutellaria spp.). These species include the skeletonizing leaf beetle Phyllobrotica limbata, Asphaera lustrans (Shiny Flea Beetle), larvae of Prochoreutis inflatella (Skullcap Skeletonizer Moth), and larvae of the moth Caloptilia scutellariella. The larvae of this last species are both blotch leaf-miners and leaf-folders. Because of its bitter taste and possible toxicity, mammalian herbivores rarely feed on the foliage.

Comments: Unlike many other Scutellaria spp., this skullcap has mostly heart-shaped leaves with indented bases; sometimes the uppermost leaves have bases that are rounded, rather than indented. Across its range, Heart-Leaved Skullcap is highly variable and several subspecies have been recognized. In Illinois, three of these subspecies can be found: Scutellaria ovata ovata, Scutellaria ovata bracteata, and Scutellaria ovata rugosa. The first two subspecies occur throughout Illinois and they are distinguished by the size of the leafy bracts on their racemes: Scutellaria ovata ovata has leafy bracts that extend no farther than the calyces of the flowers, while Scutellaria ovata bracteata has leafy bracts that extend beyond the calyces of the flowers. The third subspecies, Scutellaria ovata rugosa, is only found in southern Illinois. It can be distinguished from the preceding subspecies by its small size (less than 1' tall) and small leaves (less than 1�" long). (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)




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