Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Purple or Red Deadnettle: Lamium purpureum

lampu1-24.jpg (67924 bytes) Weed Description:  Winter annual with square stems and purple-red flowers that closely resembles henbit (Lamium amplexicaule). P rimarily a weed of turfgrass, landscapes, and winter grain crops found throughout the U. S.

Seedling:  Cotyledons oval and without hairs, while subsequent leaves are hairy, opposite, and nearly circular in outline with rounded teeth on the sides.

Leaves:  All leaves occur on short petioles, are sparsely hairy, and are circular in outline with 'scalloped' margins.   Leaves are 8-12 mm long and dark green in color, becoming more purple-red in the upper leaves.  Upper leaves are also relatively triangular in outline.
lampu4-3D.jpg (34385 bytes) Stems:  Branched from the base of the plant, are square, and may reach 16-18 inches in height.

Roots:  Fibrous root system.

Flowers:  Occur in whorls of 3-6 in the upper leaves. Purple-red in color and 1-2 cm long.

Fruit:  A berry 2 mm long.

Identifying Characteristics:   Winter annual with purple-red flowers, square stems, and petioled leaves.  The petioled leaves, triangular and sometimes purplish-red upper leaves help to distinguish this weed from Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), which has upper leaves that do not occur on petioles (sessile).