Selfheal

©Neil Wyatt

Selfheal

Scientific name: Prunella vulgaris
Selfheal is a low-growing, creeping plant that likes the short turf of grasslands, roadside verges or even lawns. Its clusters of violet flowers appear in summer.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 20-30cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to October

About

Selfheal can be seen creeping through the short turf of a grassland or the uncut grass of a woodland clearing or roadside verge; it can even pop up in lawns that haven't been treated with chemicals. Its clusters of violet flowers appear from June to October and provide a nectar source for bees and wasps.

How to identify

Selfheal is a low-growing, perennial herb with paired, oval leaves and bluish or violet flowers that appear in dense, oblong clusters on the top of its stems. Its purple-tinged seed head remains after flowering.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

As its common name suggests, Selfheal has a long tradition of being used in herbal medicine for everything from stopping bleeding and healing wounds, to treating heart disease and sore throats.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.