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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Henbit  (Lamium amplexicaule)

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Life stages of Henbit infestation in turf seedling flowers seeds mature plant

Henbit is a widespread winter annual or sometimes biennial broadleaf plant. Except for the Great Basin and deserts, it is found throughout California to about 2600 feet (800 m). Dense infestations in winter crops can reduce crop yield significantly. Henbit inhabits agricultural land, open or managed, turf, disturbed sights such as roadsides, and landscaped areas.


Open places in managed forests, agronomic and vegetable crop fields, orchards, vineyards, gardens, lawns, landscaped areas, fields, pastures, roadsides and other disturbed, unmanaged areas.


Cotyledons (seed leaves) are oval to nearly round, with a round to sharply lobed base, and a squared to slightly indented tip. They have smooth edges and hairy stalks. The first and subsequent leaves are somewhat hairy and broadly oval, with a lobed base, depressed veins, and rounded teeth on the edge.

Mature plant

Mature plants can grow to 1.3 feet (0.4 m) tall. Stems are square in cross-section and often branch near the base. Leaves are roughly 2/5 to 1 inch (1–2.5 cm) long, sparsely hairy, and broadly egg shaped or heart shaped to nearly round. Middle and upper leaves are stalkless with lobed to truncate bases, a rounded tip, and a round-toothed to weakly lobed edge. Lower leaves are on stalks.


Flowers bloom from March through August. Flower clusters are arranged in whorls at the bases of upper leaves. Individual flowers are slender, reddish or purplish, tubular, two-lipped, and 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch (13–19 mm) long. Some plants are self-pollinated and have small flowers that do not open.


The fruits are comprised of four nutlets contained in a tubelike structure (sepal tube).


The seeds or nutlets are brown, tiny, and triangular in cross-section and have a rounded to squared tip and a long tapering base.


Reproduces by seed.

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