poetry and prose about place

Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris L.)

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Heal-all, self-heal, carpenter weed, and, in French, herbe au charpentier are all names for this little weed.  Prunella vulgaris L. inhabits waste areas and lawns, becoming small and compact if mowed.  The flowers are purple, lobed and lipped and held in a dense head or spike.   This is one of many plants belonging to the mint family, easily identified because they have a square stem.  The name is of uncertain origin; at one time the plant was called BrunellaVulgaris means ‘common’.

Drawing this little plant is fun… no matter what you do, the individual flowers resemble small hooded sprites. 



Prunella vulgaris L.


Prunella vugaris neat little weed

prim and proper gone to seed


called Brunella: gatherers found

Prunella purple fades to brown


weed, a carpenter busy and strong

mends bare patches on the lawn


heal-all, self-heal – your name suggests

herbal secret you possess



© Jane Tims  1994

Written by jane tims

November 2, 2011 at 6:46 am

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