Information on Lesser Skullcap

Common Name: Lesser Skullcap
Scientific Name: Scutellaria minor
Irish Name: Cochall beag
Family Group: Lamiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Lesser Skullcap could sometimes be confused with:

Ground-ivy,

This little plant grows in damp grassland, heaths and woodland, mainly on acid soils. It barely grows higher than 12-15cm, bearing small (6-10mm long) pink, 2-lipped flowers on erect, leafy stems. The lower lip, which is untoothed, has little  purple spots and the back of the upper lip bears a small scale. The corolla tube is straight. The flowers are in pairs and in the leaf axils. The leaves are cordate-based, lanceolate-oval, are untoothed and pointed. A native perennial belonging to the Lamiaceae family, it blooms from July to October and is found mainly in the southern half of Ireland, with further distribution in parts of Connacht.  

I first saw this little wildflower in Derrynane, Co Kerry in the 1970’s but only photographed it in July 2014 when I re-found it growing on the shore of Lough Corrib at Corr na Mona, Co Galway, just across the road from Grasshopper Cottage, that lovely guesthouse run by Sorcha and Roy Peirce.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Skullcap, Lesser
Skullcap, Lesser