One of the commonest and most widely ranged of all plants. Along dusty roadsides, cowpaths, and in fields, woods and waste places everywhere, this familiar, low-growing perennial flourishes with little effort. The thick, round, elongated flower head blossoms sparingly as it lengthens, from spring to fall. The usually smooth, slender, leafy and occasionally branching stalk, is usually too weak to hold itself erect, and lies sprawling in the grass. The four-sided stalk is deeply grooved on two opposite sides. The smooth, oblong, lance-shaped leaves have a long, tapering tip and a narrowed base. They are rather thin, and their margins are often slightly toothed. They occur in alternating opposite pairs on slender stems. The small, violet, purple, or rarely white, hooded, tubular flowers are gathered in dense terminal spikes, suggesting a Clover head. They are strongly and irregularly two-lipped. The darker toned and deeply arched upper lip is hood-like. The spreading lower lip is three-lobed, with the edge of the middle and longest lobe, fringed. The four unequal stamens and pistil show within the arch of the upper lip. The oblong calyx is deeply cleft into two unequal parts, and is guarded at its base with a broad, heart-shaped bract. The flowers may be found from April to October, and from one end of the country to the other. In Germany this plant formerly had a reputation for curing throat diseases. It has also been used in healing wounds, and for making a gargle for sore throats.
HEAL-ALL. Prunella vulgaris.