Lamium amplexicaule, Photo: Augusta Stylianou Artist
Lamium amplexicaule L.
* Species Plantarum 2:579. 1753
Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit Deadnettle, Greater Henbit) is a species of Lamium native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa.
It is a low-growing annual plant growing to 10-25 cm tall, with soft, finely hairy stems. The leaves are opposite, rounded, 2-3 cm diameter, with a lobed margin. The flowers are pink to purple, 1.5-2 cm long.
It flowers very early in the spring even in northern areas, and for most of the winter and the early spring in warmer areas such as the Mediterranean region.
It propagates freely by seed and is regarded as a minor weed. Sometimes entire fields will be reddish-purple with its flowers before spring ploughing. Where common, is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees, especially honeybees, where it helps start the spring buildup.
It is widely naturalised in eastern North America and elsewhere, where it is often considered to be an invasive weed. However, its edibility and readiness to grow in many climes often mean it is permitted to grow when other 'weeds' are not.
Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License