henbit foliage and flowers

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

Updated: March 2, 2023

Life cycle  

Winter annual, less than 12-in. tall; noticeable in spring for pink to purple flowers.

Growth habit

Square stems; leaves opposite, scalloped, and rounded; lower leaves with petioles, upper leaves half encircling the stem; pinkish-purple, lipped flowers in whorls in the axils of upper leaves; fibrous root system that does not creep along the ground.


Seed germinating in early fall or early spring.

henbit flower
Henbit flower. Photo: Betty Marose

Conditions that favor growth

Mowing the lawn too short and improper fertilization.

Young henbit seedling
Photo: Ohio State Weed Lab, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Closeup of henbit flower
Photo: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org


The upper leaves of henbit, where the flowers, occur wrap around the stem (sessile).
Photo: Ohio State Weed Lab , The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Management in lawns

Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.

Lawn Care

Mechanical management

Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. 

Manage Weeds Without Chemicals

Chemical treatment in lawns

If you choose this option, spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients: 2, 4-D, MCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba*, or Triclopyr.

*Do not spray herbicides containing dicamba over the root zone of trees and shrubs. Roots can absorb the product possibly causing plant damage. Refer to the product label for precautions.

Lawn Herbicides for Weed Management

Additional resources

Purple deadnettle and henbit: Two common garden spring weeds | Michigan State University Extension


Still have a question? Contact us at Ask Extension.