Weed of the Month: Henbit

  • Various types: Henbit deadnettle,1 spotted henbit1
  • Scientific name: Lamium amplexicaule L.1
  • Grass or broadleaf: Broadleaf
  • Found in: All 48 contiguous states and Hawaii — USDA map
  • Germination timing: Henbit is a winter annual broadleaf weed that typically emerges in the fall, matures and goes to seed in early spring, says Ralph Lassiter, Enlist field specialist, Dow AgroSciences.
  • Competitiveness: Henbit is a low-growing weed and is not very competitive in soybeans or corn, Lassiter says. Because it is a winter annual, it will begin to die in the spring as temperatures rise. However, in situations where heavy henbit populations cover a field, the weed species can interfere with planting operations, making it important to use a preplant burndown program.

Young henbit


Henbit has a small purple flower that can turn fields the same lavender shade when heavy infestations occur.

Fast facts:

  • Henbit is a common winter annual in the South. As a member of the mint family, henbit has unique features such as a square stem with scalloped leaves, which are opposite on the stem without a petiole or leaf stem. In the spring, henbit has a small purple flower that can turn fields the same lavender shade when heavy infestations occur, Lassiter says.
  • The plant generally grows 4 to 6 inches tall, but it can get up to 1 foot tall. It prefers sunny spots in moist, fertile soils, but it is adaptable to dry and shady areas.2
  • Henbit is often confused with two other mints: Lamium purpureum(purple deadnettle) and Glecoma hederacea (ground ivy/creeping charlie). The upper leaves on henbit clasp the stem, but the lower leaves have petioles (or stalks) attaching the leaves to the stem. Henbit leaves can appear scalloped, but the upper leaf edges are more jagged.2

Resistance statistics:*

There are no documented cases of herbicide-resistant henbit in corn or soybeans. According to WeedScience.org, henbit has shown resistance to ALS inhibitors (B/2) in Kansas winter wheat.

*Resistance confirmation does not necessarily include all weeds and may vary among different areas of each state.

Weed management tips:

Lassiter says:

  • A herbicide program that includes 2,4-D can provide excellent control of henbit.
  • Because henbit is a winter annual weed, control measures in season are generally not required in corn and soybean fields. However, preplant burndown programs are necessary to start with a clean field and avoid weed interference at planting.
  • Growers should use an appropriate burndown herbicide to start with a clean seedbed. For more herbicide options to control henbit and other weeds, please review the list of weed control solutions below.

Dow AgroSciences weed control solutions:


SureStart® II herbicide
Keystone® NXT herbicide
Keystone® LA NXT herbicide

FulTime® NXT herbicide
Surpass® NXT herbicide 
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Duramax® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist™ weed control system


Sonic® herbicide
Surveil® herbicide 
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Duramax® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist™ weed control system

Additional information:

More information can be found through these weed science resources:

  • Henbit — University of Missouri
  • Henbit — University of Nebraska Extension

1U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources and Conservation Service. 2015. Plant Profile: Lamium amplexicaule L. henbit deadnettle. http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LAAM
2University of Nebraska Extension. Henbit. http://acreage.unl.edu/Henbit

®™Tradeemark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT and Keystone NXT are federally Restricted Use Pesticides. Duramax, Durango DMA, Enlist Duo herbicide, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Sonic, SureStart II, Surpass NXT and Surveil are not registered for sale or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, SureStart II and Surpass NXT are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2016 Dow AgroSciences LLC

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