Reasons: A very restricted range in the Florida panhandle - Liberty, Franklin, and Gulf counties, Florida. Most of the recently confirmed populations are protected on the Apalachicola NF; populations on private land (largely St. Joe Paper Co. lands) are mostly destroyed. Habitat is decreasing in quality and extent due to conversion to improved pasture, drainage, and clearcutting.
Comments: The primary threat to this species is habitat loss/degradation as a result of conversion to pine plantations and/or pasture. Establishment of pine plantations often leads to changes in the habitat that Scutellaria floridana cannot withstand after the first few years, including changes to drainage, crowding by introduced grasses, and shading due to fire suppression. Use of ORVs occurs in nearby habitats and could affect unprotected S. floridana populations
Scutellaria floridana is a rare species of flowering plant known by the common name Florida skullcap. It is endemic to Florida in the United States, where it is known only from the Florida Panhandle. It is threatened by a number of human activities and its small population sizes make it vulnerable. It is a federally listed threatened species.
This is a perennial herb growing up to 40 centimeters tall with one or more upright, square-edged stems. The tiny, narrow leaves are linear in shape with rolled edges and are just a few millimeters long. Flowers occur next to the leaves. The corolla has one lower lip and a hoodlike upper lip. It is purple–blue in color with a white spot inside. Blooming occurs in April through July. Blooming is heavier in the seasons after a fire.
This plant grows in soils containing humus and sand. Habitat types include flatwoods, wet prairie, bog, savannah, the transition between flatwoods and wetland areas. The plant's habitat is fire-dependent; it is maintained by a natural fire regime of periodic wildfire. In protected areas that are managed appropriately with prescribed burns the plant is locally abundant and flowers properly. In areas where fire suppression is practiced, large and woody vegetation grows up and produces shade so that the plant does not receive enough sunlight. The plant itself responds to fire. It simply does not produce flowers if it does not burn every three years. Lack of fire is a main threat to the species.
Other threats include habitat destruction during coastal development and the conversion of land to agriculture, particularly silviculture for the paper pulp industry.Off-road vehicle use in the habitat is a threat.