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What is this plant/weed with with unusual purplish flowers and new growth leaves? Flowers have "lids".

Its habit is similar to white clover's fill-the-space habit, and it took over significant parts of my yard. I am going to remove it (if I can), but I am courious what is it. Bees love flowers though.

It is mid-March, zone 8a.

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marked as duplicate by Niall C. Mar 20 '18 at 14:12

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  • so those "lids" are for spreading pollen on the backs of bees? – Graham Chiu Mar 20 '18 at 8:35
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    It is, as already said, Lamium purpureum - it's native to Europe and Asia.en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamium_purpureum. There is a wide range of other Lamium varieties you can buy with variously coloured leaves - L. purpureum is the 'wildflower' or 'weed' version – Bamboo Mar 20 '18 at 9:54
  • calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/…. This link to a photo gallery is from wikipedia page that @bamboo posted. Photos really match. – VividD Mar 20 '18 at 12:24

As Ben wrote, it is Lamium purpureum. It is also the typus (the official representative) of Lamium (genus), and of the large family of Lamiaceae (family, previously also know as Labiatae).

Later you will probably seen his brower Lamium maculatum, which has larger flowers and with some more distance between flowers.

Most of Lamiaceae have such typical flower, usually with a label, 4 anthers (often 2 long and two short). Typical is also the square stem and perfume to odor.

Basilicum, rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc are gardening plant of such family.

The white flowers in the same photos are Stellaria media, you have Taraxacum, I think Arabis turita (or something similar), I think also a Vicia and a Trifolium. You have a lot of diversity on weeds ;-)

  • You said I need a diverse garden to attract birds, so I keep diverse weeds. ;) Thanks a lot for additional info! – VividD Mar 20 '18 at 10:34
  • @VividD: yeah. BTW the Stellaria media in some languages is named "herb of birds". In winter birds (and chicken) like it, – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 20 '18 at 12:58

Looks like Lamium purpureum, variously known as Red Henbit, Red Deadnettle & Purple Deadnettle. A herbaceous annual native to Europe and parts of Asia; introduced in the U.S. where it evidently has invasive tendencies.



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