E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Prunella vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
self-heal (common selfheal)
Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5838)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Prunella vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from an enlarged stem-base or short rhizome, fibrous-rooted; stems solitary or clustered, erect to spreading or reclining, 10-50 cm long, short-hairy to glabrous, 4-angled.
All stem leaves or some basal; opposite, lanceolate or elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 2-7 cm long, 0.7-4 cm wide, entire or obscurely toothed, glabrous or lightly hairy; stalks 5-30 mm long; lower leaves often broader with more rounded base than upper.
Inflorescence of many flowers in dense terminal spikes, 2-5 cm long, about 1.5-2 cm wide, usually subtended by upper leaves; bracts kidney- to egg-shaped, about 1 cm long, reddish, tips pointed, margins hairy; corollas tubular, blue-violet or occasionally pink or white, 10-15 mm long in bisexual flowers, 8-11 mm long in pistillate flowers, fine-hairy inside, 2-lipped, the upper lip hood-like and entire, the lower lip 3-lobed with broad middle lobe; calyces dark green to purplish, 7-10 mm long, 2-lipped, lips longer than tube, the upper lip squared-off and with 3 short awns, the lower lip with 2 lanceolate spine-tipped teeth.
Nutlets, 4 clustered together, egg-shaped, smooth.
Two subspecies occur in BC:

1. Principal stem leaves egg-shaped to oblong (averaging half as broad as long), broadly wedge-shaped or rounded at base.................... ssp. vulgaris

1. Principal stem leaves lanceolate to egg-shaped (averaging one-third as broad as long), narrowly wedge- shaped to abruptly pointed at base.................. ssp. lanceolata (Bart.) Hult.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, waste places, lawns, fields and open forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC, S of 57degreeN; ssp. lanceolata - N to AK, E to NF and S to NC, KA, NM and CA, ssp. vulgaris - introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Prunella caroliniana Mill.
Prunella vulgaris var. atropurpurea Fernald
Prunella vulgaris var. calvescens Fernald
Prunella vulgaris var. hispida Benth.
Prunella vulgaris var. minor Sm.
Prunella vulgaris var. nana Clute
Prunella vulgaris var. parviflora (Poir.) DC.
Prunella vulgaris var. rouleauiana Victorin
Prunella vulgaris var. vulgaris

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References