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Collecting Self Heal/All Heal (prunella vulgaris) seeds to spread as a living mulch and groundcover

 
gardener
Posts: 1959
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I found some Self Heal/All Heal (prunella vulgaris) growing wild here around some of my blueberry plants.

This plant can be a great low growing perennial ground cover around fruit trees or berry bushes that can also be used for other purposes as well!

It likes moist soil and has been growing for me in a mostly sunny area.

The seeds are really easy to collect from the dried seed heads and transfer to the spot you want them to grow.

Here's a video of the plant growing native in my yard.



Anybody else have this growing wild near them?
 
pollinator
Posts: 380
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
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Thanks for this video, Steve. I was just thinking of getting some of this going myself, so your video is timely.

 
Posts: 7693
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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That's a good one!

We had a lot of clumps of it growing at our old place and would cut at flowering to dry for infusions.  Subtle taste and mixed nicely with other medicinals as a tonic.

It's another on my list that I forgot to gather seeds or dig some when we moved.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/selfhe40.html  

 
Steve Thorn
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Diane Kistner wrote:Thanks for this video, Steve. I was just thinking of getting some of this going myself, so your video is timely.



Yeah Diane, I was really excited to finding it growing here.

It seems like it is content growing right amongst other plants, which could maximize space and fill in the gaps to minimize other unintended plants from growing.
 
Steve Thorn
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Judith Browning wrote:That's a good one!

We had a lot of clumps of it growing at our old place and would cut at flowering to dry for infusions.  Subtle taste and mixed nicely with other medicinals as a tonic.

It's another on my list that I forgot to gather seeds or dig some when we moved.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/selfhe40.html



I'll have to try the infusion Judith. : ) Do you mix it with honey to sweeten it like it mentioned in the link, or do you just mix it with other medicinals?
 
Judith Browning
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Steve Thorn wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:That's a good one!

We had a lot of clumps of it growing at our old place and would cut at flowering to dry for infusions.  Subtle taste and mixed nicely with other medicinals as a tonic.

It's another on my list that I forgot to gather seeds or dig some when we moved.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/selfhe40.html



I'll have to try the infusion Judith. : ) Do you mix it with honey to sweeten it like it mentioned in the link, or do you just mix it with other medicinals?



I hardly ever sweeten tea or infusions unless it's something like ashwaganda or a really bitter herb, and then I do only use local raw honey.
The self heal is such a mild subtle flavor that is fine unsweetened even with other herbs.
I used to add a little of it to almost what ever herb I was brewing at the time...passionflower, skullcap, anise hyssop, mint, etc.  I don't think it is a strong medicinal but nice.  

This is reminding me of our crazy 'lawn' at our other place...between us we had so many things marked to 'save' that it was like an obstacle course to mow...and we tried to keep it mowed around the house because of ticks and copperheads.....
 
Steve Thorn
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I'm the same about saving plants like that. The Self Heal was coming up in an area of my lawn, and I've just let it go wild to preserve it!


 
Steve Thorn
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The flowers are beautiful too!
Self-Heal-All-Heal-(prunella-vulgaris)-flower.jpg
Self-Heal/All-Heal (prunella vulgaris) flower
Self-Heal/All-Heal (prunella vulgaris) flower
Self-Heal-All-Heal-(prunella-vulgaris)-flower-patch.jpg
Self-Heal/All-Heal (prunella vulgaris) flower patch
Self-Heal/All-Heal (prunella vulgaris) flower patch
 
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
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I got a lot of them growing near the woodland edge shaded by taller plants. Some are found in the lawn too but they kept getting mowed down. It is a great idea to keep them near a fruit tree; the flowers are beautiful and attract pollinators. I will start saving some seeds too.
 
Steve Thorn
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Found this self heal pretty deep in a forest.

It was right along the path, and looked like someone had planted it there for decoration.

I didn't realize it could grow in that much shade. I was excited to find it there!
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pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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This grows all over around here (Vermont).  I never knew what it was called; I'm excited to learn it may have medicinal properties.  And might transplant some or get some seeds to put under my blueberries, too!

Thanks, Steve!
 
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Location: Oakland California
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im hoping mine will flower, it seems to be just a nice spreading ground cover so far. i do intend to have it around trees in the orchard, but it does like moist soils and im worried about it drying up (in california) if unattended
 
Anne Pratt
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Mine have darker purple flowers than Steve's do.  They're pretty.  Since posting above, I used them with tea tree oil and lemon balm on a cold sore, and it healed markedly quickly.
 
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They grow wild here on my property, too--on the other side of the country! Mine have the darker purple flowers.

I actually just pulled out a clump that had taken over my daughter's garden--it had spread and gotten quite large. It was really handy having so much easy-to-find self-heal, and I would go harvest some multiple times a week for my tea. But, my daughter was kind of bummed because it was less space to grow the carrots and radishes, so I pulled it out. Maybe I'll go see if I can plant it somewhere else. I have it growing in so many places in my yard that I haven't worried about it too much. I think I'll go move mine to my blueberries where the buttercup keeps trying to take over the strawberry ground cover...
 
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I have a few splatters of it growing wild in my field in shaded areas. Unfortunately, like Judith, my save spots had been mowed for reasons of ticks and venomous snakes. Maybe next year I will be better about fencing it off.
Thanks for the video. I am just beginning to harvest my own seeds this year.
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