Henbit Deadnettle
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Henbit Deadnettle
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Henbit Deadnettle, Greater Henbit
Botanical name: Lamium amplexicaule    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Lamiella amplexicaulis, Lamiopsis amplexicaulis

Henbit Deadnettle is a low-growing annual plant growing up to 10-25 cm tall, with soft, finely hairy stems. The leaves are opposite, rounded, 2-3 cm diameter, with a lobed margin. The flowers are pink to purple, 1.5-2 cm long. They are borne in separated whorled clusters almost hidden by the enclosing stem-clasping leaves. It flowers very early in the spring even in northern areas, and for most of the winter and the early spring in warmer areas such as the Mediterranean region. It propagates freely by seed and is regarded as a minor weed. Sometimes entire fields will be reddish-purple with its flowers before spring ploughing. Where common, is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees, especially honeybees, where it helps start the spring buildup. Henbit Deadnettle is found throughout Europe and Asia. It is an introduced weed in other parts of the world, such as South Africa. It is found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1200-3700 m. Flowering: December-April.

Identification credit: Amit Chauhan, Gurcharan Singh Photographed at Turtuk Village, Ladakh & Kashmir.

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