T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Capsella bursa-pastoris (Shepherd's Purse)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Capsella
Species: C. bursa-pastoris
Binomial name: Capsella bursa-pastoris
Common name: Shepherd's Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris, known by its common name shepherd's-purse because of its triangular, purse-like pods, is a small (up to 0.5m) annual and ruderal species, and a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family. It is native to eastern Europe and Asia minor but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world, especially in colder climates, including New Zealand. Unlike most flowering plants, it flowers almost all year round and like many other annual ruderals exploiting disturbed ground. This plant reproduces entirely from seed, has a long soil seed bank, and short generation time and is capable of producing several generations each year. It can be found in gardens, footpaths, cultivated and bare land.










Leaf of Sheperd's purse