April showers bring…purple weeds?

By Rachel Terry
Advocate News Staff

The rain is falling, the grass is growing and with it comes the sight of dandelions, a familiar weed. But there’s another weed that people might not be as familiar with. Sprouting purple flowers and growing in vine-like clumps, if you’ve ever wondered what these plants that seem to be everywhere are, wonder no more.

Known as common henbit, greater henbit, or Lamium amplexicaule, these plants were originally native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. Clemson University describes henbit as “a sparsely hairy, winter annual weed with greenish to purplish, tender, square stems … It has a fibrous root system and can grow to a height of 16 inches. Henbit’s distinctive flowers are reddish-purple with darker coloring in spots on lower petals. It blooms in the spring with the flowers arranged in whorls in the upper leaves.”