Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Healall: Prunella vulgaris

healall7-23.jpg (70897 bytes) Weed Description:  A perennial from stolons with square stems and light blue to purple flowers.  Healall is primarily a weed of turfgrass and lawns, but is also found along roadsides or occasionally in pastures and hay fields.  Healall is found throughout the United States.
Seedlings:  Cotyledons are spatula-shaped and occur on hypocotyls (stems below the cotyledons).  Cotyledon apexes are notched.  First true leaves as well as all subsequent leaves have 'crinkled' leaf surfaces.

Roots: Stolons, fibrous roots, and stems that root at the nodes.

Fruit: A brown nutlet containing 1 seed each.   Four nutlets occur per flower.

healall8-15.jpg (46525 bytes) Leaves: Arranged oppositely along the stem, oval-shaped in outline.  Leaves are approximately 3/4 to 3 1/2 inches in length and 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide.  Lower leaves occur on petioles while upper leaves may not. Leaves are usually without hairs or only slightly hairy.  All leaves have 'crinkled' upper surfaces.

Stems:  Branched, usually growing prostrate along the ground and relatively tolerant of mowing, but can grow erect and reach as much as 2 feet in height.  Stems are distinctly square and hairy when young but usually without hairs on older plants.  Stems can root at the nodes.

Flowers:  Occur in spikes at the ends of erect stems.   Many 2-lipped flowers occur in clusters in these spikes at the ends of the erect stems.  Individual flowers are are tube-shaped and light blue to purple in color. healall1-28.jpg (154381 bytes)
healall9-19b.jpg (76430 bytes) Identifying Characteristics:   The 'crinkled' leaf surfaces, square stems, stolons, stems that root at the nodes, and cluster of tube-shaped flowers are all characteristics that help in the identification of healall.  Healall is sometimes confused with Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) and Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), however both of these weeds have leaves with rounded teeth along the margins unlike those of healall.  Florida Betony (Stachys floridana) also has a similar leaf shape and growth habit, however this weed has scalloped leaf margins and large, white underground tubers unlike healall.