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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Self-heal - Prunella vulgaris

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 2

Agency Status


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General Description
Herbaceous perennial from a short rhizome. Stems prostrate to erect, 4–30 cm, simple or branched below. Herbage glabrous to sparsely villous. Leaves petiolate; blades lanceolate to ovate, entire to shallowly crenate, 2–7 cm long. Inflorescence of verticillasters in a dense, terminal spike 2–5 cm long; bracts purplish. Flowers: calyx 10-veined, sparsely villous, bilabiate, 6–10 mm long, upper lip with 3 shallow lobes, lower lip with 2 apiculate lobes; corolla bilabiate, purple, 10–15 mm long, upper lobe hood-like, middle lower lobe large and ciliate; stamens 4, enclosed in the hood; style equally 2-lobed (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are varieties vulgaris and lanceolata (W.P.C. Barton) Fernald.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Circumboreal south to most of U.S. (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 331

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Disturbed and moist areas, including lawns.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus borealis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens (Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Adhikari, S. 2018. Impacts of dryland farming systems on biodiversity, plant-insect interactions, and ecosystem services. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 207 p.
    • Aradottir, A.L. 1984. Ammonia volatilization from native grasslands and forests of SW Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 48 p.
    • Hollenbeck, R.R. 1974. Growth rates and movements within a population of Rana pretiosa pretiosa Baird and Girard in south central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Meier, G.A. 1997. The colonization of Montana roadsides by native and exotic plants. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 45 p.
    • Stoecker, R.E. 1967. A population study of five species of small rodents in the Bridger Mountains of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 32 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Self-heal — Prunella vulgaris.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from