Monday, September 20, 2010

Heal All (Prunella vulgaris)

Prunella vulgaris is known by the common names Heal All, American Heal-all, American Self-heal, Common Selfheal, and Heart-of-the-earth. At Fort Yargo State Park, it grows by the lake along the trail south from the Fishing Area (segment 13). In Wilkes County, we found it along the gravel road south from where we found the Green Comet Milkweed. These plants, as their name implies, have numerous medicinal uses.

The plants were growing beside the roadside ditch. The flower heads tend to blend into their background but their distinctive shape gives them away.

The leaves are opposite.

A view of the back side of the leaves.

A close up of the leaf.

A close up of the flower head. A flower in semi-profile. These flowers were past their best – most of the flowers have fallen – but some flowers remained.

A flower, straight on.

Dried flower heads. It’s easy to miss these also but their shape also gives them away and it’s possible to note where they grow for future reference – a return visit in the Spring to get some good photographs.

A close up of the dried flower head. They’re quite attractive.

Prunella vulgaris (Heal All) is native to Europe, Asia and North America and grows throughout the United States and Canada.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Prunella vulgaris (Common Selfheal)
University of North Carolina Herbarium: Prunella vulgaris

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Heal all (Prunella vulgaris)

- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Prunella vulgaris (American Heal-all, American Self-heal)

- Missouri Plants: Prunella vulgaris

Related posts:
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

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