Weed of the Month: Purple Deadnettle

You may spy the color purple in the field and wonder what weed it is. While purple deadnettle looks similar to its relative henbit, they have various distinctive characteristics. Read below to learn how to identify and control purple deadnettle.

  • Common name: Purple deadnettle
  • Scientific name: Lamium purpureum1
  • Annual or perennial: winter annual2
  • Leaf arrangement: opposite2
  • Leaf venation: palmate2
  • Leaf width: ½ to 1 inch2
  • Leaf shape: triangular to heart-shaped3
  • Root type: fibrous2

Fast facts

  • Life cycle: Since purple deadnettle is a winter annual, it will grow best in the spring. It dies during the warmer summer months and will germinate again the fall. The weed remains dormant through the winter and grows well if warm weather is present.2
  • Reproduction: Purple deadnettle produces flowers in the spring that are blue and/or purple in color.2
  • Seeds: Approximately 27,000 seeds are produced per plant in areas without competition. The seeds then germinate in the early fall.1
  • Soil types: Purple deadnettle thrives in nutrient-rich soils. For example, you could find it in humic, loamy or sandy-loamy soils.1

Spot the differences between purple deadnettle and henbit

  • Purple deadnettle can reach heights of 16 to 18 inches tall; henbit can grow up to 15 inches tall.3
  • Both species have oval-shaped cotyledons; however, in henbit, the hypocotyl is green and turns purple as it grows.3
  • Henbit has hairs on the top of leaves, while purple deadnettle does not.3
  • The upper leaves of purple deadnettle are purple/red in color, while the lower leaves are a deep green. All leaves on henbit are green.3
  • Henbit has a square-shaped stem, while purple deadnettle does not.3

Control tips

  • Control is most effective in the fall, when the plants are germinating and young.1
  • Tillage is an easy way to control deadnettle when done in the spring.1
  • Many herbicides are effective when applied in the fall or early spring.1
  • If you are planting small grains, alfalfa or crops in a no-tillage system, deadnettle may compete for resources. Plant these crops at high rates to suppress its growth.1

Corteva Agriscience offers the following weed control solutions:

Corn Herbicides

DuPont Cinch® ATZ herbicide
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Elevore® herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
Enlist One® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
FulTime® NXT herbicide
Keystone® LA NXT herbicide
Keystone® NXT herbicide
DuPont Realm® Q herbicide
Resicore® herbicide
SureStart® II herbicide

Soybean Herbicides
Durango® DMA® herbicide
Elevore herbicide
Enlist Duo® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
Enlist One® herbicide, as part of the Enlist weed control system
DuPont EverpreX® herbicide
FirstRate® herbicide
Sonic® herbicide
Surveil® herbicide
DuPont Trivence® herbicide
DuPontEnlite® herbicide
DuPontAfforia® herbicide
DuPont™ FeXapan™ herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology


Sources:

1Michigan State University, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. Purple deadnettle. https://www.canr.msu.edu/weeds/extension/purple-dead­nettle
2Peacock, C. Purple Deadnettle. https://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/weeds-in-turf/purple-deadnettle/
3Steckel, L. Purple Deadnettle and Henbit. https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W165.pdf

Additional Resource:

University of Missouri, Division of Plant Sciences. 2018. Purple Deadnettle. https://weedid.missouri.edu/weedinfo.cfm?weed_id=153

Afforia, Cinch, DMA, DuPont, Durango, Elevore, Enlist, Enlist Duo, Enlist One, Enlite, EverpreX, FeXapan, FirstRate, FulTime, Keystone, Realm, Resicore, Sonic, SureStart, Surveil and Trivence are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. VaporGrip® is a registered trademark of the Bayer Group. Cinch ATZ, FeXapan herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT and Keystone NXT are Restricted Use Pesticides. Cinch ATZ, Durango DMA, Elevore, FeXapan herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Realm Q, Resicore, Sonic, SureStart II and Surveil are not registered for sale or use in all states. Keystone NXT is not available for sale, distribution or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Resicore and SureStart II 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. EverpreX is not registered in all states. See your Corteva Agriscience retailer or representative for availability in your state. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions. © 2019 Corteva.

FeXapan® herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology is a Restricted Use Pesticide. For retail sale to and use only by Certified Applicators and only for those uses covered by the Certified Applicator’s certification. FeXapan herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology is not registered for sale or use in all states. 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. VaporGrip Technology is a registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license.