Description: Perennial herb; branches 4-angular; hairs simple.
Leaves opposite, petiolate; margins toothed or entire.
Inflorescence terminal, cylindrical, spike-like, 3- to mostly 6-flowered in the axil of bracts; bracts broad, sessile, acuminate; nodes usually not visible. Sepals 2-lipped; lower lip deeply 2-lobed, with lobes ciliate; upper lip truncate with 3 sharp, almost obsolete teeth-like lobes. Corolla 2-lipped; lower lip spathulate, with 2 narrow lateral lobes and a broad-spathulate medial lobe; upper lip broad-oblong, shallowly 2-lobed. Stamens 4, fertile, exserted. Ovary deeply 4-lobed; style gynobasic; stigma terminal, 2-fid.
Fruits usually with 4 mericarps, not keeled, with 4 vertical ridges at 90deg .
Distribution and occurrence: World: 7 species, temperate Eurasia, North America & NW Africa. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.
Text by B. J. Conn
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Upper leaves pinnatifid or lobed; lower lip of calyx with linear to ovate teeth; corolla yellowish white, rarely pink or purplish||Prunella laciniata|
|Upper leaves entire or slightly toothed; lower lip of calyx with narrow-ovate teeth; corolla violet, rarely white||Prunella vulgaris|