COMMON NAME: Henbit
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lamium amplexicaule
FAMILY: Lamiaceae (Mint)
This strange flowering plant has the ability to look like a face. It grows abundantly on this acre, beginning mid-winter and going to around mid-spring or so. As many other members of the mint family, this one is edible and can be eaten raw. I have found it pleasant to eat by itself or in salads.
Part of a large patch of Henbit. This particular year the rain was plentiful and so this and other early wildflower plants grew lush and thick. In time of drought they still grow, just not as tall and plentiful.
Two fully blossoming flowers and several young buds pre-bloom on a henbit plant’s flower head. As you can see, the shape of the flowers have a long, thin shaft leading up to an irregular-shaped opening. These flowers are frequented by honeybees.
The shape reminds me of a multi-tiered water fountain. The flower is coming out of the plant just behind it.
Here is a Henbit with flowers with many blooms, affording a better view of the speckled flower openings. Besides being able to eat this plant raw, it can also be made into a tea or cooked as part of a meal. It’s nutritious, containing vitamins, iron and anti-oxidants.
This view of the Henbit shows off the long stems, as well as the round leaves in their multiple tiers. The stems are square as with the other plants in the Mint family which grow on this acre.
A macro close-up (100mm) of a Henbit flower where you can see detail of the opening and even some hairs on its surface.
A Few Details About This Species:
Range – Native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, and naturalized in North America and other locations around the world.
Habitat – Lawns and fields, also open and barren areas.
Edible? – Flowers, leaves and stems are edible raw, cooked, or in tea.
Other – Other common names include Greater Henbit and Deadnettle. Where this plant is common, it is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees.