Henbit

It has a funny name, and is considered a weed, but I think it’s kinda pretty. It’s a winter annual, meaning the seeds germinate in the fall, lie dormant all winter, and then bloom in the spring.

It’s a member of the mint family and is edible. In our area it is found blooming in the early spring alongside the road or more commonly in farm fields.

The plant grows as large as 15 inches tall, but the flowers are tiny, only about a quarter inch long.

As for the funny name, apparently chickens like the taste of it, hence, hen bit.

11 comments to Henbit

  • Chester's Mom

    Isn’t it beautiful, the colors and shape of the flowers that you can only see up close. Lovely colors, pink/purple/lavender are my favorites. Thank you.

  • CreationsbyDina

    Do you ever harvest it? I harvest all kinds of mint to dry and make tea out of. Here in Ohio spearmint grows wild all over the place. Bees love mint plants!!

    • Suzanne

      Never harvested the henbit Creations by Dina. Didn’t realize it was mint until I was doing research for this post. But I will remember and try it next year.

  • Hound Doggy

    As a kid I use to graze on this stuff. You pull out the flowers and nip off the white end. It’s sweet. Yum. I’ve got it all over my back yard.

  • Doe of Mi.

    I have never seen or heard of this mint. It sure is beautiful. Even the plant itself is pretty. Would like to try it. On the farm when I was a young one there was mint growing along side the gravel road. That was good to munch on. To bad this doesn’t grow in a pot in the house its so pretty—or would it?

    • Suzanne

      I have a pot of mint by my door. It winters over in the pot outdoors on the south side of the house, and comes back every spring. I’ve had it for years and years. I don’t dare plant it as it would take over the garden.
      Thanks Doe.

  • Hey, I recognize that flower…I do believe we have the same thing here in PA…or if it’s not the same…it is very similar! They ARE pretty. Wow, we think alike, we both like flowering weeds. I guess that’s what some would call them!

    • Suzanne

      Hi Bonnie,
      You probably have henbit there as it grows all over the US and Canada. The way I feel about it is that they don’t know they’re weeds, they’re just doing their thing. 🙂

  • My siblings, friends and I used to suck the sweet “juice” out of these flowers when I was growing up also! I’d forgotten the name of them, so thanks for posting this, Suzanne.

  • It is a pretty little plant. I love the way flowers got their common names. Funny.

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