Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal)


A patch-forming perennial herb of neutral and calcareous grassland, growing in clearings in woods, in meadows, pastures and lawns, on roadsides and waste ground, typically associated with moist, fertile soils. It forms clonal patches in short-grazed turf and spreads by the detachment of daughter ramets. 0-755 m (Knock Fell, Westmorland), and 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Wide-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

© M. Cotterill, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1106

Life form information

Height (cm): 30

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Shortly creeping and rooting at nodes

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2783

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 970

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.6

Weighted Changed Factor: 18

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (246b)
Comparative Plant Ecology,
Grime, J. P., Hodgson J. G., and Hunt R.
, London, (1988)

Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
Hultén, E., and Fries M.
, Königstein, (1986)

Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
Meusel, H., Jäger E., Rauschert S., and Weinert E.
, Jena, (1978)