Henbit Dead-nettle is a small, slightly hairy annual plant which is found on dry, cultivated and waste ground. It grows to about 25 cm in height, flowering from March to November. It bears small, downy, pink-purple flowers (12–18 mm long) which have deep purple blotches on the 2-lobed lower lip of the corolla tube. These flowers are borne in whorls and not all of them open as it can be self-pollinating; however it can also bear seed and this can be dispersed by insects to other sites. The round, oppositely-paired leaves are lobed with deep, net-veins and the plant is somewhat similar to Red Dead-nettle but occurs far less commonly than that plant. It is a native plant and belongs to the family Lamiaceae.
I first found and photographed this plant growing in soil which was being prepared for planting at the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin in 2010. Dr Darach Lupton, Dip.Hort., BA Hons.(Mod), PhD, kindly confirmed my identification.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please record your sighting for the 2014 wildflower mapping survey at www.biology.ie