Henbit

Lamium amplexicaule L.

Life cycle

Square-stemmed winter annual.

Leaves

Cotyledons are oval in outline and notched at the base where the hairy petioles attach. Opposite, circular to heart-shaped, hairy leaves have rounded teeth along the margins. Prominent, palmately veined leaves give a crinkled leaf surface. Lower leaves are attached by long petioles; upper leaves lack petioles and encircle the stem.

henbit seedling henbit leaf
Henbit seedling (left), and leaf (right).

Stems

Square, hairy, spreading stems with many ascending branches from the base can root at the lower nodes. Stems are up to 16 inches tall.

Flowers and fruit

Pink to purple flowers in a two-lipped tube form in whorls in the upper leaf axils. Each flower produces four egg-shaped, one-seeded, grayish brown and speckled nutlets.

henbit flowers henbit flower close-up
Henbit flowers (left). Close-up of henbit flower (right).

Reproduction

Seeds.

Similar weeds

Purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum L.) Differs by having more triangle-shaped leaves, upper leaves with petioles and red to purple coloration.

purple deadnettle purple foliage & flowers
Purple foliage and flowers of purple deadnettle.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.