Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Lamium purpureum
red dead-nettle, henbit

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; widely distributed throughout much of North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, lawns, parks, wastelots, and other disturbed areas at lower elevations.

Flowers: March-July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual herb with branched stems creeping at base and erect above; stems square in cross-section.


Opposite, heart-shaped, toothed, all with petioles; upper leaves usually purplish tinged.


Pink to purple, to 15 mm long with 5 irregular lobes at tip; in small clusters in leaf axils.


4 small nutlets.

Identification Notes:

The opposite leaves are all petiolate, even in the inflorescence, unlike Lamium amplexicaule which has sessile upper leaves; look also for the square stems and heart-shaped leaves.

Accepted Name:
Lamium purpureum L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 579. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lamium purpureum L. var. purpureum
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lamium purpureum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lamium purpureum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lamium purpureum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lamium purpureum photos.

USDA Plants: Lamium purpureum information.

25 photographs:
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