Henbit—a Common Winter Annual

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), like many of our common weed species, grows in many areas – lawns, landscape plantings, nursery containers, and unmanaged sites.
Henbit—a Common Winter Annual - Articles


Photo: Robert Vidki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org 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.