Perennial, decumbent herb. Leaves usually small and soft, entire or toothed. Inflorescences racemose, lax or dense; bracts leaf-like, often smaller towards apex of inflorescence; verticils 2-flowered. Calyx pouch-shaped, 2-lipped; lips equal in length, entire, broad, rounded, upper bearing a transverse protruding outgrowth and finally deciduous, lower persistent. Corolla 2-lipped; tube ascending-arcuate or somewhat sigmoid, upper lip erect, concave or galeate, usually obliquely joined to lateral lobes of lower lip; lower lip spreading with an oblong central lobe and 2 smaller lateral lobes. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending under upper lip and included by it, lower pair the longer; anthers of upper pair 2-thecous, of the lower with one theca imperfect or obsolete. Ovary on variably developed gynobase; style slender, included in upper lip, subequal to stamens, apex subulate with one branch wanting or short and appressed to the longer. Nutlets ovoid to subglobose, rarely obovoid, borne on a raised gynophore, tuberculate or variously sculptured. x = 11, 17 (7, 10, 12, 13, 15) (aneuploids, B-chromosomes, polyploidy).
Species +/- 300, cosmopolitan; 1 species: * Scutellaria racemosa Pers. of South American origin, is naturalised in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.