Henbit - A Prolific Winter Annual

Uploaded by UIExtension on 19.05.2011

Richard: Greg we're kneeling here in what was a flower bed last year.
We cleaned up the flowers,
looked good all winter long, snow melted and all of the sudden we've got just an
amazing amount of one particular kind of weed that seemingly has predominated
in this bed. What exactly are we, what have we got here?
Greg: Well for some reason this year I'm seeing more and more of a weed call henbit,
and henbit
produces these kind of lavender colored, purple flowers,
it has a leaf arrangement that looks like leaves are wrapped around the stem. It's a square
this stuff is
extremely prolific. It's a winter annual,
which means that the
seed germinates late-summer, early-fall,
and the plant overwinters as a small tiny plant
over the winter,
and in the springtime it just explodes resulting in these plants that tend to,
if you will, almost vine out or crawl out along the ground.
It's an extremely
tenacious kind of weed.
The thing that I would suggest is that if a person has this particular weed, obviously one
thing to do would be to come in here and cultivate it out.
And if they wanted to use some type of a
pre-emergent herbicide, the best time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for winter annuals
would be when the weed is germinating which would be late-summer early-fall.
If you apply it in the springtime it's not going to do any good because there are no seeds here that are
basically germinating. So, again, it's just kind of a
nuisance type of weed but it's everywhere.
Richard: If I understand it, not only does it bloom at the top but it has bloomed in every
leaflet or every whirl of leaves along the plant which is what makes it so prolific. Greg: Everywhere
you see a whirl of leaves, there's a cluster flowers, which is one reason why, like you say,
seed production is just unbelievable. So you can see where this thing gets out of hand. Last year
this bed basically had nothing. Richard: Right. Greg: This year it's covered with
henbit which we are going to have to basically cultivate it out.
Maybe perhaps do a little better job of controlling it hopefully for next season. But you can see
here, and again, this is the same kind of weed that many people, especially in the midwest, are going down the
interstate highway and see agricultural fields that are just totally purple. Richard: That's right. Greg: That's henbit.
And so it's a tough weed for the commercial agriculture person. Richard: So this, the
big weeds here probably were already in here and growing for some time given their
size. Greg: Right. Richard: And this is all just from seed. Greg: These are new seedlings that are just, again, they over
wintered as tiny seedlings because it's a winter annual. And then
with all the recent good weather we had, just started to come up.
Richard: So for right now in the springÉ Greg: Cultivation. Richard: It this is you weed, cultivate it out. Greg: Cultivate it out. Richard: And plant the bed.
Hopefully then you can keep ahead of it and
try to keep these weeds at bay because you can see
seed production is rather prolific.
Richard: It certainly is. Thank you Greg