Alphabetical Plant Listing

Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal)

Selfheal, All-Heal, Blue Curls, Blue Lucy, Brownwort, Brunel, Caravaun Bog, Carpenter Grass, Carpenter's Square, Heart of the Earth, Herb Carpenter, Hercules' All-Heal, Hook-Heal, Hookweed, Panay, Proud Carpenter, Self Heal, Pickle-Heal, Sicklewort, Slough-heal, Square Stem, Carpenter's Herb, Heal-All, Thimble Flower, Prunella incisa


Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal) is a creeping perennial with dense erect spikes of purple to pink or white tubular flowers from late spring to early fall, depending on the latitude and elevation. Borne on self-rooting square stems, the blossoms are arranged in a tight cluster 1 to 2 inches long (2-5 cm) at the end of the stem. They bloom progressively from the lower to the upper end of the spike and attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Each flower produces four smooth, egg-shaped, one-seeded nutlets that are retained in the persistent calyx. The nutlets are primarily distributed by flowing water, grazing mammals, and birds. The lance-shaped, serrated leaves, about 1-4 in. long (2-10 cm), grow on long slender stalks in opposite pairs down the square stems. Evergreen in mild climates, the leaves can be eaten cooked or raw. They are used in stews, soups, and salads. Selfheal grows from short rhizomes to form a dense mat and can be used as a groundcover or for erosion control along roadsides, streambanks, and pond edges. Selfheal is also a valuable addition to a wildflower meadow or butterfly garden but can become weedy. Found throughout Europe, Asia, Japan, and the United States of America, as well as most temperate climates, Selfheal often grows in waste ground, grassland, and woodland edges. For medicinal purposes, the whole plant is gathered when the flowers bloom and are dried.

  • Grows up to 12-24 in. tall (30-60 cm) and 6-9 in. wide (15-22 cm). This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may out-compete, displace, or overrun desirable vegetation if not properly managed.
  • Thrives in full sun or partial shade, in any damp soil. May need some shade in hot dry conditions.
  • A good candidate for banks and slopes, flower borders and beds, underplanting roses and shrubs, cottage gardens, wildlife gardens, or as a ground cover.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Deadhead to prevent self-seeding.
  • Propagate by stolon, division, or seed. Propagation by stolon yields larger plants in a shorter amount of growing time.
  • Native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and most of North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Spacing 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom, United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Pete Beard, Scott Darbey, Willamette Biology, Simon, Flickr, Photo_Olivia, Stdesign, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Spacing 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Water Needs Low, Average, High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United Kingdom, United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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