In the past few weeks, I have been noticing some spectacular local fields covered in Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule). The color is what makes these acres so noteworthy - a ground level haze of purple pink, fuchsia or even mauve depending on the light and at what stage the flowers are blooming. I wanted to stop and take a few pictures of places on the way to work, but usually I am already running late, plus I would be taking my life into my hands pulling over during rush hour. Yesterday, on the way back home from Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore, several photographic moments presented themselves in rural Northampton County, but without the threat of being run over.
Henbit is an Old World native occurring in Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. Like other members of the mint family, this annual has square stems, and also like many of its relatives, it is extremely prolific. The seeds germinate in the fall of the year with blooming occurring in late winter. In many places Henbit has naturalized and is considered an invasive weed, particularly in agriculture where it prefers the same rich sandy loams farmers seek for their crops. Judging from the state of the fields I saw, one would think Henbit was planted on purpose, and though it is indeed edible, I am sure it is an unwelcome crop. A Google search yields many recipes and serving suggestions. Unfortunately I recently had breakfast, so I did not indulge, but if you have eaten it, please let me know what you thought of it
Please don't forget about my Winter Walk Off challenge. It is open to all bloggers until 3/19, and I hope you will participate. Right now there are only a few contestants, and I know you will not let them win the treasure chest of prizes without a decent fight.