Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a winter annual from the mint family, but unlike many of its relatives, it does not have a strong mint odor. It features square stems and pink-purple flowers, reaching 16 inches in height. Its leaves reach 5 inches in length and are circular to heart-shaped with rounded teeth on the edges. Its flowers occur in whorls in the upper leaves and are fused into a tube ⅔ inch long.
Henbit is native to Eurasia and northern Africa and arrived in North America in the 1700s in livestock feed. It prefers light, dry and cultivated soils, making pastures susceptible to infestations. It also commonly grows along roadsides, in croplands and on lawns.
Henbit, and other winter annuals, have not been seen as a major problem in pastures until recent years. Shorter and lighter winters over the past few years have allowed henbit to compete with pasture grasses, especially fescue and bermudagrass, in early spring. If not controlled during early stages, it can establish in pastures quickly and become a bigger problem.
To eradicate it, apply 16 to 20 fluid ounces of DuraCor® herbicide per acre any time in the fall after germination through late winter. Use lower rates when weeds are small and increase rate as season progresses until senescence. Use a 1% v/v Methylated Seed Oil (MSO) with DuraCor to optimize control.
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