Latin: Lamium purpureum

Other names: Purple deadnettle, red henbit

Family: Lamiaceae

Red deadnettle is a common weed found in the United Kingdom that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is also known as purple deadnettle or red henbit. This weed can be identified by its square stems, reddish-purple leaves, and tubular-shaped purple flowers.

Red deadnettle is an annual plant that typically grows upright, reaching heights of up to 30 centimeters. 

Identifying Red Deadnettle

Red deadnettle possesses several distinct features that help distinguish it from other similar-looking plants. The leaves of red deadnettle are opposite and have a heart-shaped or triangular shape. They are deeply lobed, toothed along the edges, and typically display a reddish-purple coloration.

The flowers of red deadnettle are tubular and arranged in whorls around the square stems. They are usually a vibrant shade of purple, though occasionally they may be pink. The flowers bloom from early spring to late autumn, providing a valuable food source for pollinators.

The Challenges of Red Deadnettle

Red deadnettle’s prolific seed production allows it to spread quickly and establish new infestations. It thrives in cooler weather conditions, making it particularly problematic in early spring and late autumn when other plants may not be actively growing.

How to deal with Deadnettle

Managing red deadnettle involves a combination of cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods. In agricultural settings, crop rotation, timely cultivation, and the use of pre-emergence or post-emergence herbicides can help control red deadnettle. Proper timing of herbicide applications is crucial for effective control.