Common selfheal

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Prunella vulgaris  L.

Common name(s): common selfheal, heal-all, heart-of-the-earth, woundwort, wound root

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile , NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-generally flowers June-August in ME

-simple opposite leaves

-two subspecies in New England; see information from Flora Novae Angliae at bottom of Go Botany webpage


-disturbed areas

-meadows and fields

-river shores

Natural history:

-used in traditional medicine around the world

  • The Algonquin used it to reduce fevers


Haines, A., Farnsworth, E., Morrison, G., & New England Wild Flower Society. (2011). New England Wildflower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Framingham, MA: New England Wild Flower Society. p. 646.

Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.

Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Prunella Vulgaris L.” Prunella Vulgaris (Common Selfheal, Heal-All): Go Botany, 2020,