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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Scientific Name: Lamium amplexicaula L.,

Other Names: lamier amplexicaule, pain de poule

Family: Mint family (Labiatae)

General Description: Henbit is an annual or winter annual reproducing only by seed.

Habitat: Henbit is found throughout southern Ontario in gardens, waste areas and along roadsides.


  • The cotyledons are oval and range in length from 3 to 12 mm
  • Hypocotyl starts green and turns purple as it matures
  • The base of the cotyledon is notched, giving the leaves a heart shape appearance


  • Stems are square and erect
  • Finely hairy
  • Reach a height between 10 and 40 cm
  • Very branched near the base with branches that spread, then become erect


  • Leaves are opposite (2 per node)
  • Young leaves occur on the petioles and have a crinkled upper surface
  • Lower leaves are long-stalked, broad, somewhat heart-shaped and have coarsely lobed or irregularly toothed margins
  • Upper leaves are stalk-less, have a broad base and clasp the stem
  • The upper leaf surface as well as the veins on the lower leaf surface have hairs

Flowers and Fruit

  • Flowers are found in clusters (whorls) in the leaf axils of the upper leaves
  • The calyx of the flower is small, tubular, ribbed with 5 small, sharp, teeth
  • The corolla of the flower is pink or purple, 12 – 18 mm long and made up of 5 united petals
  • Flowers in spring and early summer and sometimes in late summer and autumn
  • The fruit are small, egg-shaped nutlets that are approximately 2 mm long, brown with white spots 

Often Confused With / Distinguishing Features
Henbit is often confused with purple or red deadnettle. Unlike, henbit, purple deadnettle’s upper leaves are triangular and are red or purple tinted. Henbit is distinguished from other weeds by its erect branching, square stems and opposite leaves. The distinguishing leaves are the upper leaves that clasp the stem. The clusters of pink or purple flowers in the leaf axils are also notable.


Henbit seedling at the 2-leaf stage Henbit stem with 2 opposite leaves that clasp the stem giving a whorl-like appearance Henbit stem axils with clustered purple flowers Henbit flowerClick to enlarge.