As the weather cools this fall, some homeowners are going to notice the appearance of various winter annual weeds, including henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), in their lawns. Winter or cool-season annuals are plants that germinate from seed in the fall and then grow little during the cold of winter. As the weather warms up in late winter/early spring, they grow quickly, flower and produce seeds. When the weather becomes hot in late spring/early summer, they die.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a winter annual with greenish to purplish, tender, square stems. It is found throughout most of South Carolina — most commonly in open, disturbed sites, but also in fields, along roadsides and most importantly for the consumer, in home lawns. It is commonly confused with a related species, purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), another winter annual.

To learn how to identify henbit as well as the lawn conditions that encourage its growth and how to control it in the lawn, see HGIC 2321, Henbit.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.