Encyclopedia Article

henbit                  Lamium amplexicaule L.

Family:  Lamiaceae (mint)                            
Life cycle:   annual (winter)
Habitat:  landscapes, no-till fields                
Native status:  Introduced

General description:  Prostrate growth habit with terminal ends of stems erect.  Lower leaves are opposite with petioles, rounded to heart-shaped with rounded teeth.  Upper leaves are sessile and deeply lobed.  Stems are square.  Pink to purple flowers are produced in whorls in the axils of upper leaves.

Key ID traits:  Opposite, sessile leaves with deep lobes on upright, square stems.

Similar species:  Purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) has a similar growth habit, but the upper leaves are reddish, triangular, and not deeply lobed like those of henbit.  Both plants are found in similar habitats. Flowering stems of ground ivy (creeping Charlie) resemble those of henbit, but leaves on ground ivy have short petioles whereas leaves on henbit are sessile (joined directly to stem).

Weed ID Factsheets Index

Henbit seedling with long-petioled, circular cotyledons and opposite, deeply toothed leaves.

henbit growth habit
Henbit growth habit


Opposite, sessile leaves of henbit on flowering stems. Note square stems.

triangular leaves of purple deadnettle
Triangular leaves of purple deadnettle

flowers in axils of sessile leaves
Henbit flowers in axils of sessile leaves