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Prunella vulgaris

Prunella vulgaris L.

 

Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyLamiaceaeMint family
GenusPrunellaFrom either Latin for “purple;” or German “Braune” and its English cognate, “Brunella,” an illness thought to be cured by this plant
SpeciesvulgarisMeans “common”

About plant names...

Heal-all is a common native of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is a member of the mint family.

Identification: Plants are 1¾-16" (5-40 cm) high, usually toward the small end of this. It is often found in lawns. Stems are approximately square in cross section, green or reddish, and lightly to densely hairy. Leaves are up to 2" (6 cm) × ¾" (2 cm), oval or sometimes lance-shaped, on fairly long petioles (leaf stems). The flowers appear on spikes at the top. They look uneven and disheveled because they don’t bloom all at once. Each flower is about ⅜" (1 cm) around, purple on top and white below, and bilaterally symmetrical: if you cut it in half vertically, the halves are mirror images. The lower center petal has a ragged edge.

Medical: As heal-all’s name suggests, it has long been used in folk medicine, for a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms include fevers, rheumatism, liver ailments, eye problems, swollen glands, urinary problems, sore throats; heal-all was also used as an antibiotic and general cure-all. Even today, it is sometimes used to treat minor injuries such as sores, burns, or bruises, and as a mouthwash for mouth ulcers. However, I was not able to find any definitive studies on these medicinal properties.

Online References:

Prunella vulgaris on Missouriplants.com

Prunella vulgaris at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Prunella vulgaris on Planet Botanic

Prunella vulgaris on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Prunella vulgaris at Illinois Wildflowers

Prunella vulgaris on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Prunella vulgaris on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 4 × 5" (10 × 13 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

9/20/2014 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME · By J Gordon Williamson

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

7/11/2016 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Wildflower/Porcupine

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

9/20/2014 · Gordon and Kathy’s, Prospect, ME · By J Gordon Williamson

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/8/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (11 × 14 cm)

Prunella vulgaris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

6/30/2013 · Great Hill Conservation Land, Acton, MA
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 11 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

6/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 8" (18 × 20 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

7/11/2016 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Wildflower/Porcupine

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/8/2010 · Jeff Smith Trail, Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 3½ × 4" (9.4 × 11 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 5" (12 × 13 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

7/11/2012 · Jeff Smith Trail, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 4½" (12 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

8/18/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

6/27/2012 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

7/27/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 10" (27 × 24 cm)

Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-all, Heart-of-the-earth, Healall)

6/30/2013 · Great Hill Conservation Land, Acton, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (12 × 14 cm)

Range:

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