For fans of botany and the Mikhailovsky Garden, the following question was asked on social networks:


In the photo, the blackhead is ordinary. In the botanical dictionary of Nikolai Annenkov, many more popular names of this plant are listed. For example: God’s help, Brother and sister, Brunets, Guttural herb, Eromych, Red folder, Loinik, Medunets, Sinetsvetka, Sukhovershki.

Our most active participants answered the question correctly: Irina Kuznetsova, Tatiana Kuznetsova, Irina Smirnova, Svetlana Krasnova, Irina Tsvetkova, Irina Estrina, Inna Kucheruk. Thanks for the extended answers, especially about the use of this plant.

The modern scientific name of the blackhead is Prunella vulgaris L. In the middle of the 18th century, Carl Linnaeus named this plant for the brown color of the covering leaves and calyx, from the Dutch word “bruynelle”. In the 16th century, the Flemish botanist Mathias de L’Obel called the chernogolovka Symphytum petraeum Consolida minor Matthioli, which means Rocky Comfrey, Consolida small. In doing so, he refers to the Italian botanist Pietro Mattioli (Matthioli). L’Obel included the image of the blackhead in his book Plantarum seu stirpium icones, published in 1581. Another Flemish botanist, Rembert Doduns, in his work, which came out in 1583, called the blackhead Brunella. As you can see, in the attached photographs, both authors used the same blackhead drawing in their works.

Common Chernogolovka is a perennial plant with a creeping rhizome. It tolerates mowing well, therefore it is often found on urban lawns, only it becomes very low. Chernogolovka is used in folk medicine as a remedy for sore throats and colds, hence the name gourd, throaty herb. In horticulture, the common blackhead is used as a ground cover plant to decorate semi-shady areas of the garden. Garden hybrids such as Prunella x webbiana Paul with large inflorescences are used in flower beds.

Enjoy your walks through the gardens of the Russian Museum and discover new botanical mysteries.

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