henbit plant (44851 bytes)

Henbit: Lamium amplexicaule

Henbit is a winter annual occasionally found in lawns in early spring.

The lower leaves have a stalk while the upper leaves clasp the stem. Stems are square, like other members of the mint family. All the leaves are coarsely toothed and opposite from each other. Flowers appear in May and are about one-half inch long, trumpet-shaped, pinkish white to purple, and form just above upper leaves.

henbit flowers (8830 bytes)    henbit foliage, stems (34414 bytes)    henbit taproot (6901 bytes)
Henbit flowers Henbit foliage Henbit taproot

This weed is more often found in buffalograss than in bluegrass. Newly-seeded bluegrass and established bluegrass lawns with poor density may have some henbit. Increase density and vigor of lawn with fertilization, mowing and watering practices outlined in CSU Fact Sheet 7.202.


Henbit has a taproot and is easily pulled from moist soil.

Heavy infestations can be controlled with triclopyr + clopyralid, 2,4-D or 2,4-D combination herbicides; at or prior to flowering. Fall application of a pre-emergent herbicide (dithiopyr, isoxaben, pendimethalin or prodiamine) will prevent henbit germination.

Photographs courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010