Henbit Dead-nettle
Lamium amplexicaule L.
Family: Lamiaceae, Mint
Genus: Lamium
Synonyms:
Other names: henbit deadnettle
Nomenclature: amplexicaule = stems clasped
Nativity / Invasiveness: introduced plant, weed
Edible plant
Medicinal plant
Description

General: annual from a short taproot, generally branched at the base, the several weak stems creeping below. Herbage inconspicuously stiff- or flat-hairy to almost hairless.

Leaves: opposite, the ones on the lower part of the stem stalked, with broad, rounded, cordate blades, coarsely round-toothed or -lobed, seldom as much as 1.5 cm long. The upper leaves and the leaflike bracts under the flower clusters are stalkless, broad-based, clasping, often 1.5 cm long, longer than the calyces but usually shorter than the corollas.

Flowers: few in terminal whorls, sometimes in a few more whorls from the upper bracts. Calyx stiff-hairy, 5-8 mm long, the 5 narrow, erect lobes about equaling the tube. Corolla purplish, 12-18 mm long, hairless inside, hairy outside, the hairs outside the upper lip purple. The upper lip erect, arched like a hood, 3-5 mm long. Lower lip 2-lobed. Occasional plants produce small flowers, never opening, fertilized in the bud. May-July.

Fruits: nutlets, angularly 3-sided, blunt at the tip.


Distribution

A weed in fields and waste places, in w. and c. parts of MT. Native to Eurasia and n. Africa, now well established in N. America.
Edible Uses

Young leaves henbit dead-nettle are edible raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or used as a potherb.



Medicinal Uses

The plant is antirheumatic, excitant, fever-reducing, laxative, stimulant, and has agents that induce sweating.


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