< BACK

Lamium amplexicaule

Lamiaceae

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is an introduced herbaceous winter annual in the Lamiaceae (mint family). It is also known as henbit dead-nettle, common henbit, or greater henbit, and is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. The stems are square and often root at the lower nodes. The leaves are opposite, simple, and have pinnate major veins. The upper leaves are sessile and clasping thus the specific amplexicaule. The sessile characteristic is used to separate this species from Lamium purpureum. The inflorescences are axillary cymes. The flowers are perfect and irregular, with five sepals, five reddish-purple petals, and four stamens (two fertile and two sterile). The petals are two-lipped, with two petals in the upper lip and three in the lower lip. The four-lobed ovary is superior, and the style arises between the lobes. The fruit is a schizocarp with four mericarps. An edible plant especially young leaves and stems. A few plants on Allen Acres but lots more in the cities and is a very common plant. Close-up of flowers by the late Ken Wilson from Louisiana Wildflower Guide. Caterpillars of the butterfly, Gray Hairstreak, are reported to eat this plant.