Purple Deadnettle


red deadnettle, leather-leaf nettle, purple cat's tongue

Lamium purpureum

Purple deadnettle is a common weed invader of vacant agricultural fields, landscape borders, derelict lawns, and compost piles. The leathery leaves often appear dark green-to-purple. Deadnettle is one of the first plants to flower after snow melt in the spring. Appearance in lawns will be linked to thin or bare areas that experienced some disturbance in the previous fall.

  • Crops Affected: turf


    Purple deadnettle is an indicator of low density. Openings in the turf and disturbance are necessary for successful establishment. Because of its winter annual life cycle, deadnettle will flower and die in the spring. Improved turfgrass density (through proper cultural practices like routine mowing and fertilization) will be very effective at limiting the recurrence of this weed in future years. It is more likely to see deadnettle along landscape boundaries, in compost piles, and in the first spring after establishing a lawn.

    Similar Species

    Many similarities exist between henbit and deadnettle. However, henbit leaves are more orbicular (circular) than deadnettle and less pubescent.