Weed Of The Month -- Henbit
Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a sparsely hairy winter annual with greenish to purplish, tender, square stems. Its opposite leaves are broadly egg shaped with bluntly toothed margins and prominent veins on the underside. Upper leaves are sessile (directly attached to the stem) and lower leaves have petioles. It has a fibrous root system and can grow to a height of 16 inches. Henbit's distinctive flowers are reddish purple in color with darker coloring in spots on lower petals. It flowers in the spring with the flowers arranged in whorls in the upper leaves.
Henbit is commonly confused with purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum). However, purple deadnettle has upper leaves that are triangular, occur on petioles, and are distinctly red or purple-tinted, unlike the upper leaves of henbit.
Henbit can quickly invade thin turf areas especially where there is good soil moisture. Shade also encourages growth. Many have a prostrate growth habit and are not affected by mowing.
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