Prunella or Brunella is Latin for a throat inflammation, which this plant is supposed to cure.
Self-heal refers to its herbal use for healing cuts, wounds and throat inflammations.
A sparingly hairy, weak stemmed perennial herb with opposite oval leaves and purple, tubular flowers in dense, leafy spikes at the ends of the stems in summer.
Petiole - Present on lower leaves.
Blade - Egg shaped, oval or oblong , 20-70 mm long, smooth edged or shallowly toothed and sometimes wavy. Tip rounded to pointed. Sides convex. Base tapered. Multicellular hairs on the underside veins.
More or less erect or creeping, few, square, grooved or flattened in cross-section, purplish colour, up to 400 mm long. Covered with upwardly appressed hairs that are dense on young growth and scattered on older stems.
Dense terminal spikes consisting of many, apparent rings of 6 flowers partly hidden by 2 bracts.
Tubular, 2 lipped with 3 lobes on the lower lip, violet or rarely white or pale pink.
Bracts - Broad rounded with a long tapering point, 5-7 mm long, purplish colour or with purple veins, more or less translucent, covered with bristles on their lower surface.
Sepals - 2 lipped, 7-9 mm long. Upper lip, 3 toothed and hooded, almost truncate, flattened. Lower lip with 2 lance shaped lobes. Lobes have tiny hairs. Tube scarcely longer than the calyx.
Petals - Corolla. Violet, rarely white or pale pink, 12 mm long, 2 distinct lips. Upper lip, erect, hooded, smooth edged. Lower lip spreading, 3 lobed. The middle lobe larger and with small teeth. Tube slightly longer than the calyx.
Stamens - 4, paired, more or less exerted from the corolla tube, the lower pair of stamens longer than the upper pair. Filaments with a small tooth near the tip.
Anthers - 2 cells almost at right angles to each other.
Smooth and hairless nutlet.
Enclosed in fruit.
Corolla with 2 distinct lips.
Calyx 2 lipped. Upper lip 3 toothed and hooded, almost truncate, flattened. Lower lip 2 lobed.
Corolla tube scarcely longer than the calyx.
4 Stamens more or less exerted from the corolla tube.
Anthers (at least the upper 2) 2celled, the lower pair of stamens longer than the upper pair.
Frost resistant. Sensitive to drought.
Summer in SA.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by seed or cuttings.
Origin and History:
Temperate Asia and Europe or Cosmopolitan.
ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Widespread in south-eastern Australia and Europe, temperate Asia, North Africa, North America.
Prefers open sunny areas.
Prefers light moist areas.
Minor importance as a weed in Australia.
Herbal medicine for throat inflammations.
Leaves applied to cuts or abrasions by pioneers to assist healing.
Weed of roadsides, shady streams, damp places, pastures and disturbed woodlands.
Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:
Cutleaf Self-heal (Prunella laciniata).
Plants of similar appearance:
Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P180. Photo.
Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia. P727, 739. Diagrams.
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia). P839. Diagram.
Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P317-318. Diagram.
Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P170-171. Photo.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). p230.
Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #1026.2.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.