Henbit is a broad-leafed plant that grows as an annual but also as a biennial and short-lived perennial. It is also known as dead nettle, bee nettle, and lamium.
Description and Life Cycle:
- Plants are 4 to 12 inches tall.
- Four-sided stems similar to mints often drape along the ground.
- Stems will root where lower nodes contact the soil.
- Leaves are paired opposite one another on stems; leaves are hairy, circular, and palmately veined.
- Leaf margins have rounded teeth.
- Small flowers grow in whorls in axils of upper leaves with pink or purple tubular two-lipped corolla.
- Blooms mid- to late spring and at the end of summer.
- Annual plant that reproduces by seed and stolons; sometimes a biennial or short-lived perennial.
Root System: Henbit has a fibrous root system. Henbit can root from nodes along stolons–creeping horizontal stem runners.
- Pull by hand and hoe; remove the roots.
- Remove plants before they flower and drop seeds.
- Remove all roots and stolons from garden to prevent re-rooting.
- Suppress the plant with a 3-inch layer of mulch.
Range: Throughout the United States and southern Canada except for areas in the north central states.
Botanical Name: Lamium amplexicaule
Four Quick Ways to Control Weeds:
- Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
- Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
- Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
- Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.