WSU Extension


Weeds : Henbit : Lamium amplexicaule
(revision date: 4/7/2021)

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Cycle: Annual
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

A spreading to erect plant, henbit has the square stems and opposite leaves characteristic of most plants in the mint family. Plants may branch extensively at the base. Branches often root at the lower nodes and may reach a foot or more in height. The lower leaves have long petioles, while the upper leaves lack petioles and appear to surround or clasp the stem. All leaves have coarse, rounded teeth. The flowers are pink to purplish, appearing in whorls in the axils of the upper leaves. The lower lips of the flowers are three-lobed and spotted, the upper lips have two lobes. Henbit stems are hairless. Most of the leaves are also hairless and more or less shiny, but the lower leaves may have some hairs. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Henbit may resemble red deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), but lacks the soft, hairy appearance and reddish, closely set upper leaves of red deadnettle.
Henbit is commonly found on rich soils in waste places and cultivated areas including gardens, lawns, and fields.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Maintaining a healthy planting or turf area to provide competition will prevent weed establishment.
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Mowing to prevent seed production is a very effective means of management. In lawns, mowing regularly at the proper height for the grass species may help minimize weed growth and invasion.
  • Careful digging is useful to manage weed populations. However, digging can carry undesirable weed seed to the surface and foster further germination.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • dichlobenil
  • products containing triclopyr
Turf areas
  • triclopyr
  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
Bare ground areas
  • glyphosate
  • triclopyr
  • dichlobenil
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Caption: Flowering henbit
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Henbit flowers and leaves
Photo by: R. Parker
Caption: Henbit
Photo by: D.G. Swan
Caption: Henbit stems and leaves
Photo by: D.G. Swan