A low perennial with purple flowers intended for wet places. Common self-heal is used in herbal medicine. It also provides a lot of nectar, hence it is valued by beekeepers. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.
€1,75 – €7,50
Polish name: common tiny head
Latin name: Prunella vulgaris
Family: the mints Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Status in Poland: native or well-established, very common
A low perennial plant with quadrate aboveground shoots, elliptical-circular leaves and purple-blue flowers gathered in hard-to-confuse heads (hence the polish name).
Creeping rhizomes take root at the nodes. The quadrangular stems, like all Lamiaceae (Labiatae) stems with opposite arranged leaves, only slightly hairy or completely bare, ascending.
Leaves with petioles, broadly-ovate, almost round, with slightly crenate or entire-margined blades.
Single flowers are inconspicuous, but the entire inflorescence is large in relation to the rest of the above-ground parts. The flowers of the common self-heal are characterized by a distinct pectinate symmetry, differentiation into the calyx and the corolla, and purple-blue color. Both the calyx and the corolla are double-lipped, with the corolla remaining much larger than the calyx. They bloom a long time, from May to October. Most often they are bisexual and homogamous (with stamens and pistils maturing simultaneously), however, female flowers occur.
The fruit in the form of schizocarp splitting into four mericarps dispersed by rain (they fall out of the schizocarp due to raindrops hitting the whole fruit) or by animals grazed by farmers (the seeds germinate even better after passing through the digestive system of a cow or horse). The orthodox type seeds with TSW 0.8-1.2 g.
It requires fertile, fresh or moist, rather heavy soil. In suitable soils it reproduces by self-seeding.
As a species of light sparse forests and their margins it can withstand partial shade.
It is reproduced either by sowing seeds (in spring or autumn) or by dividing older but healthy clumps.
To this day a decoction of common self-heal herb is used to treat diseases of the genitourinary and digestive systems. It is used internally for diseases of the kidneys, bladder, liver, intestines and stomach, and externally for rinsing the mouth, throat and genitals. It has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
A hectare of a cultivated common self-heal can yield up to 120 kg of honey. The pollen yield of this herb has not been tested.
Common self-heal bee pastures can save honey yield in years with unfavorable spring conditions for locusts and rapeseed.
In trade, seedlings and seeds of common self-heal are relatively expensive, but Polish beekeepers are eager to buy them.