Prunella Species, Heal All, Heart of the Earth, Self Heal

Prunella vulgaris

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Prunella (proo-NELL-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

This Plant is Least Concern (LC)

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

By tip layering

By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Cullman, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Seward, Alaska

Ponca, Arkansas

Auberry, California

Berkeley, California

Menifee, California

Sebastopol, California

Sun City, California

Milford, Delaware

Cornelia, Georgia

Moscow, Idaho

Palmyra, Illinois

Evansville, Indiana

Flora, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Madisonville, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Independence, Louisiana

Skowhegan, Maine

Fallston, Maryland

Oakland, Maryland

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Fremont, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Isle, Minnesota

Cole Camp, Missouri

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Manorville, New York

Chardon, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Guysville, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Eugene, Oregon(2 reports)

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

Salem, Oregon

Colver, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Viola, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Blacksburg, Virginia

Bremerton, Washington

Green Acres, Washington

Greenacres, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 22, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I commonly encounter this as a weed in lawns. In a meadow, it can be considered an aggressive forb. It is native to Europe and widely naturalized in North America, often aggressive under cultivation but not considered ecologically invasive. It has naturalized in all lower 48 states and Alaska.


On Jun 22, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Originally from Europe, this is a 19th century garden escape that is now naturalized in this region and others. I often encounter older specimens in the lower, damper fens of a local national forest, just outside of the tree lines.
This medicinal plant is much appreciated by bees. Just give it a spot with partial sun and moisture, and it succeeds without much complaint.


On Oct 9, 2011, risingcreek from sun city, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

this plant is a very prolific grower if there is water available. grows year round in creek bed, the bees like it (a plus) so i leave it alone unless it shows up in the vegetables. the smell is sort of unpleasant but not stinky, if that makes sense.


On May 19, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is sowing itself in a dry bare spot under a Juniper tree. I am investing more energy to naturescaping with natives in my garden, and sure enough Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris spp.lanceolata) is on the list of native ground covers! It is mat forming, very low, not a tangled mess (in May), neat simple deep green leaves, and flowers that are a benefit for nectar seeking butterflies (apparently). My rating is neutral since it remains to be seen how nice of a neighbor it will be, native or not, but if something other than an actual weed wants to grow in my dry shade, have at it.


On Apr 12, 2010, postoak7 from Statham, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant has self-sown aggressively for me in the GA piedmont. Working now to get rid of it.


On Feb 17, 2007, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I'm in forming a small colony..not invasive though,i have had it about 3 years and haven't seen it sprading anyway besides where I planted it,Mine does NOT bloom repeatedly...


On Oct 30, 2006, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I find this plant to be very invasive here in my zone 8b PNW garden. It self sows everywhere. Luckily it's easy enough to pull out unwanted plants but it comes up so thickly that you'll be doing a lot of pulling.


On Oct 28, 2006, jacobhugh from Eugene, OR wrote:

Prunella vulgaris is a wonderful "alternative lawn". It stays green all summer, needs less mowing and looks great all winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Most alternatives look ratty and meadowy by mid-summer, but Prunella stays green and healthy. A photo of my front "lawn" is posted.


On Aug 8, 2005, DawnG from Chardon, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

While this plant has a long history of medicinal uses, I have had a bad reaction to it. If I hit it with a weed-wacker, I begin to cough uncontrollably and I can't draw a full breath. The effect goes away if I leave the immediate area, only lasting a minute or two, but it's enough to thoroughly panic a person. It does not return if I return to the area after the air has cleared. I have no reaction to the pollen or to touching the plant, but the reaction comes if I breathe it in after I vaporize the plant. There may not be many who have this reaction, but it may be something to consider.


On Aug 7, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Since new shoots are produced continually during the growing season, the plant has an extremely long bloom period that lasts for months in the summer.

Plant resprouts from any roots left in the soil, so make sure it is desired before planting.


On Aug 28, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Like most members of the mint family, Prunella has square stems and opposite leaves. A creeping perennial that forms low, dense mats of foliage. The stems may be erect or prostrate and range from two to fifteen inches high. Stems are slightly hairy when young but become hairless with age. Leaves are one to four inches long and about 1/3 to 1/2 as wide as they are long. The pinkish to purple flowers are in short, dense spikes (one to two inches long) at the tops of the stems. This can be a rapid spreader so plant where it doesn't crowd out other plants. Makes a good ground cover.


On Aug 28, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Sources indicate the common name, Prunella, was originally "Brunella" (from the German "bruen", referring to a disorder of the throat.)

The plant has long been used to heal many ailments, including sore throats, boils, colic, etc. The leaves contain an effective astringent, helpful in stopping bloodflow from a wound.