Scientific Name: Lamium purpureum

Common Name: purple deadnettle

Other Common Names: red deadnettle, hybrid deadnettle

Habit: Low growing winter weed with erect flowering stems that usually grow to about 10 to 25 cm tall. Stems are square and four-sided. Seedlings emerge in fall and early spring. Flower production may start in the fall but predominately occurs in spring and early summer. Plants completely die during hot summer months.

Leaves: Leaves are hairy and triangular (about 30 mm wide and 50 mm long) pointed at the tip and may have rounded to pointed teeth. Leaves are on short stalks and tend to droop downward such that the leaf tips often touch the stem below. The lower leaves have long petioles, while the upper leaves have short petioles. The leaves may also appear to be purple/bronzed.

Identifying Characteristics: Purple deadnettle has square stems and opposite leaves with rounded to pointed teeth. Leaves tend to droop downward on bent stalks (petioles). Plants produce characteristic mint-like flowers that are pink to purple. It is commonly confused with its family member henbit deadnetttle; however, purple deadnettle's leaves are larger with generally longer petioles.

Flower Seed Head: The small flowers are pink to purple and arise from leaf axils near the tip of erect stems. Flower parts are united into a two lipped tube. The inside of the tube has purple splotches.

Seed Fruit: Seed are brown to light brown with lighter speckles. Seed are about 2 mm long and have two angular flat sides and a rounded back.

Where Found: A common weed of lawns and other turfgrass areas, plants are often noticed after flower production starts in the spring. Plants are also common in home gardens, nursery crops and other agricultural crops.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Lamiaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval; round

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: lobed

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: purple

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: square or multi-edged

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Flower diameter: dime; pencil

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; longer than leaf