Lamium Species, Deadnettle, Giraffe Head, Greater Henbit

Lamium amplexicaule

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



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Princess Anne, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Erie, Michigan

Lakeville, Minnesota

Mathiston, Mississippi

Belton, Missouri

Cole Camp, Missouri

Monroe City, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pittsford, New York

Ridgewood, New York

Glouster, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Pocola, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Collierville, Tennessee

New Market, Tennessee

Amarillo, Texas

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

Rochester, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


On Apr 19, 2011, BLOSSOMBUDDY from Watseka, IL (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.


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.


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.


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.


On Feb 16, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) 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!


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?


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.


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.


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...


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.



On Jun 26, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Rife, 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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


On May 20, 2004, jcangemi from Atascadero, CA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.