Foraging Wild Henbit

Henbit, also known as “deadnettle,” shows up as a weed in the wild but is actually a mild leafy green that holds up well to seasoning.

  • There are a few distinctive features of this plant, but the simplest are the tubular, purple-pink flowers.
    Photo by Leda Meredith
  • “The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles” by Leda Meredith.
    Photo courtesy The Countryman Press

Inexpensive, fun, and yielding delicious results, foraging for local, natural plants is gaining popularity across the nation. Experienced foraging guide Leda Meredith has written The Forager’s Feast (The Countryman Press, 2016) to break down everything you might need to know about the sensation. Learn to identify edible plants in the wild, how to harvest them without harming the growing plant, and try some original recipes while you’re at it!

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Forager’s Feast.


Lamium amplexicaule, L. purpureum, and other edible Lamiums

These common weeds grow on several continents and have the virtue of being able to withstand fairly cold temperatures. Henbit is a reliable forage, even during winter in most places.


Henbit likes disturbed soils and often shows up as a garden and farm weed. It is a common plant in city parks.

5/7/2020 1:39:38 PM

Reading your article here in NE Texas always harvest this plant 👍 Henbit supplies iron, minerals and antioxidants. It is also valued for its natural medicinal qualities including, antirheumatic, diaphoretic, excitant, febrifuge, laxative and stimulant effects.

5/7/2020 10:30:54 AM

Forty years of gardening and I never knew henbit was edible! It's considered a weed here in North Texas by our longtime gardening-guru Neil Sperry, but not a bad one, as it disappears when the weather starts to get really hot. Now I'll know to harvest it along with my kale, Swiss chard, and other greens. Thanks for the eye-opener! :-)



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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