Heal All

Weeds

Prunella vulgaris, self-heal, carpenter's-weed, thimble flower, heart-of-the-earth

Prunella vulgaris


Heal All is a low growing, spreading, perennial of the mint family. It has very distinctive 'puckered' leaves with an opposite arrangement on square stems. Some burgeoning weed scientists use the 'pruned' texture of the leaves (think about you fingers after swimming) to remember the genus name Prunella. The ovate leaves (wider at the base and tapering toward the apex) are covered with short, coarse hairs. When viewing this plant from directly above, each set of leaves is rotated ninety degrees from the previous set.

Due to its low growth habit, heal all can often escape detection until firmly established in the lawn. Most often the first signs of invasion are during flowering when hundreds of purple 'pineapple-shaped' flowers are seen floating above the turf. Heal all produces these flowers in early-to-mid summer on stems that extend above the turf canopy.

  • Crops Affected: Turfgrass

    Management

    Due to the low growing habit of heal all it is not typically removed by routine mowing. Its spreading habit forms patches that can eventually out compete the turf for available resources. Heal all thrives in the shaded, moist, and well fertilized environments that are present in so many backyards.

    Similar Species

    Some similarities with purple deadnettle which is much more upright and whose leaves are conspicuously purple/red. Purple deadnettle is a winter annual producing flowers similar to henbit early in the spring. The upper leaves of henbit are sessile (lacking petiioles) and crenate (scalloped).