Scutellaria p. potosina

Mexican Skullcap - Scutellaria p. potosina
South of Hillsboro, New Mexico, USA
May 2016

I had just finished up posting the comments made about the Copper Flat Copper Mine DEIS, to BLM, when the call came.  “We have a new flower for you to look at.” (That is a very heavy paraphrase.)  In a trice, Rebecca and I were traveling down NM-27, south of Hillsboro, to see friends and to see what they had found. Growing in sandy silt on the banks of an arroyo we saw a small plant, perhaps eight inches high and about as wide, still in bloom but not nearly what it was the day before (according to our guide).

The plant, the plant is what we are interested in here - not the event; not the bending of old joints to get face down in the dirt for the photo; not the “look here is another one”...  The plant is Scutellaria potosina, or Mexican Skullcap.  There are three subspecies of this plant (in the United States) according to the NRCS Plants Database.  It is also found in Mexico.  The one shown here is the nominate form S. p. p. var. tessellata.  The distribution map for the species provided by BONAP (right) shows the U.S. distribution by county.  The light green color indicates that the species is present in the county and not rare (the dark green color means the species is present in the state).  The synonyms for this subspecies include S. p. parviflora and S. tessellata (described as such by Carl Epling in 1939 from a specimen collected in Arizona).  This variety is also known as Huachuca Mountains Skullcap.

The specimen below was collected by Joseph Cook in 1976, in Hidalgo County, New Mexico.  Additional images from our outing have been added to The Plants of the Black Range photo gallery.


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