WSU Extension


Weeds : Purple deadnettle (Red deadnettle) : Lamium purpureum
(revision date: 4/7/2021)

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

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

Purple deadnettle has the square stems and opposite leaves characteristic of most plants in the mint family. Plants usually branch from the spreading base. Leaves mostly occur near the top of the branches, which are up to a foot tall. Branches may root at the lower nodes. Leaves (up to nearly one inch long) are all somewhat hairy, but never shiny. The lower leaves have long petioles, while the upper leaves have very short petioles (but do not surround or clasp the stem). Upper leaves may be densely crowded and have a purplish to reddish appearance. The flowers are pink to purplish, appearing in whorls in the axils of the upper leaves. Purple deadnettle may sometimes be confused with henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), but the upper leaves of henbit clasp the stem and are not hairy, and leaf pairs are more widely spaced on the stem.
Purple deadnettle occurs in gardens, fields, and other cultivated areas, typically on rich soils.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
None recommended
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: Purple deadnettle flowers
Photo by: C.R. Foss
Caption: Purple deadnettle
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Caption: Purple deadnettle
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Purple deadnettle close-up
Photo by: C.R. Foss