Weed Seed: Prunella vulgaris (Heal-all)

Family

Lamiaceae

Common Name

Heal-all

Regulation

Secondary Noxious, Class 4 and Noxious, Class 5 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.

Distribution

Canadian: Occurs throughout Canada except in NU and NT (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1). There are native and introduced populations (Darbyshire 2003Footnote 2).

Worldwide: Exact native range obscure, present throughout most of North America, Europe, northern Africa and Asia and introduced in other temperate areas such as Australia, New Zealand and southern Africa (eFloras 2016Footnote 3, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 4).

Duration of life cycle

Perennial

Seed or fruit type

Nutlet

Identification features

Size

  • Nutlet length: 1.8 - 2.3 mm
  • Nutlet width: 1.3 - 1.5 mm
  • Nutlet thickness: 1.0 - 1.3 mm

Shape

  • Obovate nutlet, compressed

Surface Texture

  • Nutlet smooth, shiny

Colour

  • Nutlet reddish-brown

Other Features

  • Hilum at narrow end of nutlet, associated with white tissue
  • Distinctive dark lines run down centre of each nutlet face and around the outside

Habitat and Crop Association

Old fields, gardens, pastures, grasslands, lawns, turf, thickets, open forests, riparian and wetland sites, roadsides, railway lines and disturbed areas (Darbyshire 2003Footnote 2, DiTomaso and Healy 2007Footnote 5).

General Information

Many cultures have used heal-all to help heal wounds and deal with inflammation (Oh et al. 2011Footnote 6). This species is reported to have both antiviral and antibacterial properties (Oh et al. 2011Footnote 6).

Similar species

Large-flowered selfheal (Prunella grandiflora)

  • Large-flowered selfheal nutlets are a similar size, reddish-brown colour, similar white tissue at the hilum and dark lines as heal-all.
  • Large-flowered selfheal nutlets are an oval shape with up to six dark lines on the dorsal side of the nutlet compared to heal-all nutlets with 2 lines on the dorsal side.

Photos

Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) nutlets
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) nutlet
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) nutlet, side view

Similar species

Similar species: Large-flowered selfheal (Prunella grandiflora) nutlets
Similar species: Large-flowered selfheal (Prunella grandiflora) nutlet
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