Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Henbit, Deadnettle
Lamium amplexicaule

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lamium (LAY-mee-um) (Info)
Species: amplexicaule (am-pleks-ih-KAW-lee) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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7 positives
9 neutrals
8 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Mdvdsn On Jul 15, 2011, Mdvdsn from Clarksville, AR wrote:

This plant provides an early season nectar and pollen source for honeybees. Although in this early season, most pollen and nectar goes to feed new bees, if sufficient quantities of the plant exist it makes a very nice honey with just a hint of minty flavor.

Neutral BLOSSOMBUDDY On Apr 19, 2011, BLOSSOMBUDDY from (Zone 5a) wrote:

To view this article online:

Purple fields spark questions, concern

Author: Jennifer Shike

I have a patch of it.. its pretty... but does wander. It is an annual however.

Positive Marianne13 On Apr 13, 2011, Marianne13 from Monroe City, MO wrote:

Actually, henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a different plant from dead nettle (Lamium purpureum). We've got a beautiful carpet of henbit around our front gate, that's being actively used by the honeybees for nectar. I love it's purple color in the spring and don't mind sharing my lawn with it. I've heard it called "giraffe head", because some people think the flower looks like a little giraffe head. I think it looks more like a teeny, tiny fuzzy-headed muppet.

Positive sherman99 On Mar 8, 2011, sherman99 from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I find this little plant to be quite pretty, and the only thing blooming in my yard in Feb. i dont know where it came from but as i live on a large piece of property i have no problem with letting it take over an area. it is growing in full sun and the flowers are quite cheerful. i am sure if it were choking out something i had planted my opinion would be different.

Positive greenthumb99 On Jun 28, 2010, greenthumb99 from Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Where I live this plant is not a problem, but it grows as a weed in my in-laws lawn. When we visit them in the early spring I dig some up to bring home and set a pot on the rail of our deck where I can easily see the lovely little blooms. Too bad it is such a problem in warmer areas.

Negative vossner On Feb 16, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very sneaky weed, within days you can have a huge patch of it taking over everything. In my area, most prominent during our mild winters/early spring. I don't know if this can ever be eliminated from one's yard but one minor consolation is that it can be pulled in large clumps, thus giving one a sense of accomplishment--but don't be fooled. It's there forever!

Negative dgapwalls On Mar 8, 2008, dgapwalls from Dahlonega, GA wrote:

We purchased this house about one year ago, and this STUFF was surrounding a l.p. Gas tank, which we removed. After mowing, thereby spreading the stuff, it has continued to grow around the base of the pool fence, out into the yard, and every concievable place where it isn't wanted. How can it be contained, other than spending my entire summer pulling the stuff? Are there any herbicides that will kill the invasive beast and leave the bermuda grass?

Neutral dda1974 On Mar 2, 2008, dda1974 from Bonaire, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I can't believe anyone would pay money for this plant. The flowers are pretty and very unique, but I noticed it spread through my entire back yard (especially the shadier areas) in full bloom in February.

Positive creekwalker On Oct 24, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Actually, Henbit is the Lamium amplexicaule . It is the one shown in the pictures that has been submitted.

Dead Nettle is Lamium Purpurium which looks somewhat different but has some of the same looking flowers.

I enjoy the bit of color it adds.

Neutral shoemir On Mar 21, 2007, shoemir from Auburn, AL wrote:

Some plants exhibit an albinism mutation (white flowers instead of purple). I recently found a patch of these and was able to obtain some seeds. It will be interesting to see what the offspring look like...

Neutral WUVIE On Mar 16, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easy to pull, so not high on my list of hated weeds.

It is attractive, but doesn't stay put and always
seems to find it's way next to my poppies, which
do not like to be disturbed. If Lamium a. and p. would
behave, they would be welcome to stay, but they
pop up in areas where I like a clean look.

So, sorry, Lams, out you go.

Best to pull when they are young and tender, else
ye find yourself using a trowel to dig them out.


Positive Sherlock_Holmes On Jun 26, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Millersburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've always liked this plant since I saw it as a young boy in the fields around my parents' house.

The fact that it's introduced doesn't really bother me because the related Purple Dead Nettle is MUCH more invasive than Henbit and we've never seen an over-abundance of Henbit because of it.

As for its edibility qualities, The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America says this.

"The leaves of L. album, L. amplexicaule, L. maculatum, and L. purpureum are eaten raw or cooked in Europe and Asia. They are not aromatic, but have a pleasant taste and make good salad greens."

Neutral Flowerkid On Feb 4, 2006, Flowerkid from Tyler, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

L. amplexicaule is a weed, but it's not particularly difficult to pull, like Dandelion, for instance. I agree with tiG that it's best to pull these up before they flower. I read that, on average, each plant will make 1000 seeds. Still, weed status notwithstanding, it's nice to see some green in the winter before the lawn "wakes up," and it provides nectar for bees when few other plants can.

Negative melody On Feb 3, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

An invasive weed that can take over a whole yard or garden if allowed to. It stays green and even blooms most of the winter here.

I pull this stuff out in huge just seems to make room for more.

It comes up in cracks in the sidewalk, in my landscaping pea gravel and other hard to reach areas. Roundup will kill it, but I only use that where I don't want huge patches of dead plants.

It came with the property, and despite my will be here long after I'm gone.

Neutral thunderheart On Jun 27, 2004, thunderheart wrote:

I just purchased this house and found this nestled in with some black eyed -susans in the shade. I just now was at a nursery and found out what it was. I transplanted it to the front of the house around the front border of our flower bed and use as a low creeping border. Here it gets full sun. I must say though in the winter it did not lose any flowers in fact it looked as though it just laid dormant but with all its greenery and flowers.I live in the N.E. part of Oh near Youngstown where it gets below -10 or even lower at times.
Thanks for letting me share this with you.

Negative Toxicodendron On May 21, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Lamium amplexicaule, the plant we are talking about here, is a winter annual. It dies off when the summer heat comes around and looks absolutely terrible. That is why I eradicate it as early as possible. The seed seems to come in on the wind, though, because I get plenty more plants every year.
I can't imagine anyone liking this plant after seeing it's entire life cycle and invasive qualities.
There are several good decorative lamiums such as 'Beacon Silver' and 'Hermann's Pride' that are perennial groundcovers. Perhaps that is what the positive raters are referring to.

Neutral nancymonio On May 20, 2004, nancymonio from Lakeville, MN wrote:

I really like this plant. I like the White Nancy kind also. The only thing about it in Minnesota is if we have don't near normal snow fall sometimes that plants don't come back. I have experience this both at my parents and my house. Try to get these plants from a friend or neighbor so that you don't have to pay for them. Last year I bought several of them and they didn't come back but the ones that I got from my sister-in-law did come back.

Negative jcangemi On May 20, 2004, jcangemi from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I couldn't agree more with Cherish. This is a problem weed in agricultural settings, extremely difficult to get rid of. I can't imagine anyone wanting it in their yard.

Positive vagardener On May 20, 2004, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

I have an impossible slope behind my garage and decided to create a tiered rock garden. The soil is heavy Virginia clay. I amended the soil, a bit, and planted the deadnettle in the front tier. It is looks lovely in it's place. I wanted to use it's trailing tendencies to cascade over the rocks.

Negative cherishlife On May 19, 2004, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

WEED! I can't believe it's listed as an annual. It certainly spreads fast enough. I used to admire the pretty flowers (and still do on occasion) but mostly would rather not have to deal with it in my yard.

Negative tiG On May 25, 2003, tiG from Newnan, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Terribly invasive. They do pull easy but get them before they flower.

Neutral lupinelover On May 24, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Crushed foliage has a peculiar acrid smell. It looks attractive blooming in colonies in a field, but is a very invasive pest in cultivated gardens, rooting along its stem if trampled.

Negative talinum On Sep 1, 2002, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a common urban weed in the midwest. It occurs in lawns, gardens, roadsides and cultivated fields. The seeds are eaten by some birds.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is considered to be an invasive weed in some states. It is a native of Eurasia and Africa.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Holly Pond, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Clovis, California
Menifee, California
Sterling, Colorado
Ellendale, Delaware
Zephyrhills, Florida
Bonaire, Georgia
Dahlonega, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Anna, Illinois
Leavenworth, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Erie, Michigan
Lakeville, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Belton, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Monroe City, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Pittsford, New York
Glouster, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Pocola, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Collierville, Tennessee
New Market, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Clarksville, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Garland, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lumberton, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Everett, Washington
Grand Mound, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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