henbit foliage and flowers

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

Updated: March 24, 2021

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.

henbit foliage
Henbit foliage. Photo: Betty Marose

Reproduction

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.

Management in lawns

Cultural lawn care practices

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

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. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.

Chemical treatment in lawns

*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. 

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