HENBIT DEAD-NETTLE

Lamium amplexicaule

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

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status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8orange
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
stem
stem8square
stem
stem8hollow

2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An annual growing up to 10 inches high mainly in arable fields. It is branched only at the base, this specimen has three long branches and perhaps two more shorter ones.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
There are two to three whorls of un-stalked leaves near the top, then nothing until the few stalked leaves near the bottom. The flowers emerge from the axils of reduced leaves with normally only up to 3 or 4 open at any one time.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers pink to mauve and with long corolla tubes sticking well out of the sepal tubes (longer than those of the similar Cut-leaved Henbit). Leaves which are near the flower whorl are un-stalked and moreover, amplexicaul, which means they embrace the stalk, surrounding it, hence the specific epithet in its binomial name Lamium amplexicaule. The stems are square and hollow.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The top-most whorl of leaves often forms a flat-bottomed bowl-shape cup surrounding the stem, lower whorls less cupped and may even open out relatively planar.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves well toothed, crenate. (Those of the similar Cut-Leaved Dead-Nettle are more deeply cut). Un-opened flower buds are bright brick-red and characteristic of this plant, indeed, some flowers are very short and mat never open being hardly any longer than the green calyx tube from which they are bourne.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
After the top two or three whorls of leaves, there are no more whorls.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Several flowers with a long narrow tubular neck are on show at any one time, popping their heads and long necks out of the bowls like rabbits. The corollas are 14-20mm long which includes the tubular section (which is 10-14mm long).


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have two petals, the top-most erect and cowl-shaped rather than curled over the top like those of Common Hemp-Nettle. The upper petal is also narrower than that in Common Hemp-Nettle.the lower part never opens, but looks instead like the wide flippers of a penguine clapping his hands.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The lower petal is in two parts (rather than the three of Common Hemp-Nettle and is cusped and often brought together as if praying. The lips on the lower petal are less than 3mm long.

The upper hood is much hairier than the lower part of the flower. There are six pink spots on the clapping petals.



2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A side view reveals a cross between a pink rabbit and a duck which is popping out of the hole. There are downy long hairs on the leaves (and on the 'ear' of the rabbit).


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The upper hood of the flower houses the deep-orange anthers (rather than the golden yellow one of Common Hemp-Nettle). The filaments of these anthers are white and concolorous with the internal colours so are hard to determine, but they travel all the way up the long tube and close to the back of the hood.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
There is also a short white spike between these anthers dangling like Damocles' sword.


2nd Sept 2017, a bare patch, Walled Garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Near the ground just a few cut leaves emerge from the stem. They are small, roundly-lobed with dark-pink points on the end, and hemi-circular, with flattened (i.e. winged) leaf-stalks). These lower leaves are 3-5cm long (counting the stalks too).


Easily confused with : Cut-Leaved Dead-Nettle

Some similarities to : Red Dead-Nettle (but leaves are not tinged dark-red), and to Common Hemp-Nettle but that does not have a lower lip that is clasped together as if praying as does Henbit Dead-nettle.

More similarities to : Northern Dead-nettle (Lamium confertum) but that only grows in Scotland and parts of Ireland, and more often near the coast.

Henbit dead-nettle is both an annual and an archaeophyte which is found in open, cultivated or waste ground.


  Lamium amplexicaule  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
family8mint family8dead-nettle family8Labiatea family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8lamium
Lamium
(Dead-nettles)

HENBIT DEAD-NETTLE

Lamium amplexicaule

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

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