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Prunella vulgaris
Prunella vulgaris (Self-heal)
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Montane, subalpine.  Woodlands, meadows.  Summer.
Haviland Lake, June 28, 2004.

At lower elevations and in Spruce and Aspen forests Prunella vulgaris is common. In fact its species name, "vulgaris" means "common".  But Prunella is usually passed by because it is such a small, slender plant.  A close look will reveal lovely, tiny, purple/lavender flowers in the arching swirls characteristic of the Mint family.

As the map below indicates, Prunella is found across the United States.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.  The word "Prunella" is either from the Latin for "purple" (as in the fruit "prune"), or from the German word "Braune" and then the English cognate, "Brunella".  "Braune" is "quinsy", a form of tonsillitis which Prunella was thought to cure.

Prunella vulgaris
Prunella vulgaris (Self-heal)
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Montane, subalpine.  Woodlands, meadows.  Summer.
Haviland Lake, June 28, 2004.

Prunella vulgaris
Prunella vulgaris (Self-heal)
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Montane, subalpine.  Woodlands, meadows.  Summer.
Navajo Lake Trail, June 11, 2006.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Prunella vulgaris