Henbit and purple deadnettle are frequently confused for the other and this confusion is not without basis. Both henbit and purple deadnettle are winter annuals, which surface in late winter and early spring. They are also in the mint family and share characteristics like purple flowers, square stems, and leaves spaced opposite of each other. We have compiled their differences below to make identifying them easier this spring.


  • Petioles (stalks that attach leaves to stems) are pronounced on the base
  • Deeply scalloped leaves
  • Leaves are glossier when they are more mature
  • Generally, henbit has more gaps between clusters of leaves
  • Flowers are longer and slimmer



  • Petioles on lower and upper leaves
  • Leaves are heart-like or triangular-shaped
  • Less scalloped or defined


Most commonly used selective broadleaf herbicides will provide effective control.