Heal all, Prunella vulgaris
Heall all or Self Heal, is a perennial wildflower that can be recognized by its erect, flowering spikes and hairy bracts.
Its native habit includes moist fields, roadsides, pastures, and along woodlands. This very adaptive plant can be grown under most soil, light and PH conditions. It can be grown in full sun but may need some shade in hot dry conditions.
Interesting reports indicate that the leaves can be eaten cooked or raw in stews, soups, and salads. Note: wash the leaves to remove the bitter-tasting tannin (yellowish-brown bitter-tasting organic substance) prior to eating. An olive-green dye can be extracted from the flowers and stems and it is the host plant for the Clouded Sulphur butterfly and is attractive to bumblebees and butterflies. Also the name comes from its traditional use in healing wounds, throat infections, and several other ailments. Consult an authoritative source for detailed information.
Small bluish to lavender or whitish flowers in a cylinder-shaped head in large greenish or purple-tinged, bristly fringed bracts appear summer through fall.
Thanks to a generous friend who shared this spot, I was able to obtain seeds just south of New Bern. Thank you Anna.
Photo credit Jesse Taylor. CC BY-SA 3.0