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common shepherd's-purse, shepherd's-purse

Habit Plants mostly sparsely to densely pubescent, trichomes sessile, 3–5-rayed, stellate (base of plant often mixed with much longer, simple ones).

(0.2–)1–5(–7) dm.

Basal leaves

petiole 0.5–4(–6) cm;

blade oblong or oblanceolate, (0.5–)1.5–10(–15) cm × 2–25(–50) mm, base cuneate or attenuate, apex acute or acuminate.

Cauline leaves

blade narrowly oblong, lanceolate, or linear, 1–5.5(–8) cm × 1–15(–20) mm, base sagittate, amplexicaul, or, rarely, auriculate.


sepals green or reddish, 1.5–2 × 0.7–1 mm (margins membranous);

petals (1.5–)2–4(–5) × 1–1.5 mm;

filaments 1–2 mm;

anthers to 0.5 mm.

Fruiting pedicels

usually straight, (0.3–)0.5–1.5(–2) cm, glabrous.


(0.3–)0.4–0.9(–1) cm × (2–)3–7(–9) mm, base cuneate, apex emarginate or truncate;

valves each with subparallel lateral veins;

style 0.2–0.7 mm.


brown, 0.9–1.1 × 0.4–0.6 mm.


= 32.

Capsella bursa-pastoris

Phenology Flowering and fruiting Jan–Oct.
Habitat Roadsides, gardens, fields, barren gravel, pastures, plantations, lawns, orchards, cultivated ground, waste areas, vineyards, mountain slopes
Elevation 0-2800 m (0-9200 ft)
from FNA
AK; AL; AR; AZ; CA; CO; CT; DC; DE; FL; GA; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; MT; NC; ND; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NV; NY; OH; OK; OR; PA; RI; SC; SD; TN; TX; UT; VA; VT; WA; WI; WV; WY; AB; BC; MB; NB; NL; NS; NT; NU; ON; QC; SK; YT; Asia; Greenland; Europe; n Africa [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Atlantic Islands, Pacific Islands, Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

According to M. Coquillat (1951), Capsella bursa-pastoris is the second most common weed on earth, after Polygonum aviculare.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 7, p. 454.
Parent taxa Brassicaceae > tribe Camelineae > Capsella
Synonyms Thlaspi bursa-pastoris
Name authority (Linnaeus) Medikus: Pfl.-Gatt., 85. (1792)
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