Weed of the Month: Henbit

Posted: February 4, 2014

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a common winter annual. Like many of our common weed species, it grows in many areas – lawns, landscape plantings, nursery containers, unmanaged sites.
Photo: Robert Vidki, Doronicum Kft., henbit Lamium amplexicaule

Photo: Robert Vidki, Doronicum Kft., henbit Lamium amplexicaule

Henbit reproduces via seeds, which germinate in early spring and fall. As a member of the mint family, this plant has square stems. The mature stems are green with some taking on a purple color. They range in height from 4 inches to over a foot. The vein pattern on the upper surface of the foliage gives it a wrinkled appearance. Leaves are opposite and have rounded teeth.

The flowers are quite small, yet highly visible and purple to pink in color and most common in spring. One plant that looks similar to henbit is ground ivy. Ground ivy is a perennial though with creeping stem, and though it has square stems, it roots at each node. Henbit has a fibrous root system, which makes hand weeding difficult.

Numerous herbicides are labeled for preemergent use including:

  • Barricade (prodiamine)
  • Broadstar/SureGuard (flumioxazin)
  • Dimension (dithiopyr)
  • Goal (oxyfluorfen)
  • Harrell’s 75 (oxyfluorfen + trifluralin)
  • Pendulum (pendimethalin)
  • Surflan (oryzalin)

Post-emergent herbicides include:

  • Goal (oxyfluorfen)
  • Reward (diquat dibromide, non-selective)
  • Roundup and other products (glyphosate, non-selective)
  • SureGuard (flumioxazin)

Remember to read the label for proper application sites and rates.

Mulch can also be used whenever possible as a non-chemical management option.

Download Publication

Article Details


Weed of the Month: Henbit

This publication is available in alternative media on request.

Contact Information

Timothy Abbey
  • Extension Educator, Horticulture - Green Industry
Phone: 717-840-7408