Saturday, June 11, 2011

Prunella vulgaris--Heal-All or Self-Heal

This plant is called for Heal-All and Self-Heal. Does it cure itself when it gets sick? I don't know. But I do know that it has been considered a panacea in many different cultures for a very long time. It has been used for pink eye, diarrhea, sore throat, internal bleeding and on and on. All parts are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked, although it is a bit bitter. Because of the taste, many herbivores don't eat it. But bees and butterflies use the nectar.

It has pretty purple flowers and can make a lovely ground cover in part shade. However, it can be invasive.

I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, but it has a long bloom season so it is probably still flowering in the herb garden at the UC Botanical Garden.

1 comment:

Country Mouse said...

Interesting! I would like to know how to tell the non-native from the native species - looking on Calflora it seems that P. vulgaris lanceolata is definitely locally native in Santa Cruz where I live. on Dave's Garden I read that P. vulgaris and can form a ground cover/lawn alternative - though can also be invasive and hard to get rid of, in some areas - so one would want to be sure about it before introducing it. Plus - all those medicinal benefits!