shepherd's purse

Shepherd’s purse – Capsella bursa-pastoris

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medicus

Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

MI Status


Life cycle

Erect winter or summer annual.


Leaves initially develop from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are stalked and highly variable in shape; young leaves are first roundedand elongated, becoming variously lobed, toothed to wavy. Smaller stem leaves are alternate with smooth to toothed margins andclasping bases.


Erect, slender, hairy, up to 2-foot-tall stems bolt from a basal rosette to flower. Flower stems are usually unbranched with few to no leaves.

Flowers and fruit

White flowers with four small petals are found in terminal clusters. Fruit are distinctly heart-shaped to triangular pods found on elongated, unbranched stems.



Shepherds purse rosette
Shepherd’s purse rosette
Shepherds purse seedhead
Shepherd’s purse seedhead
Shepherds purse fruit
Shepherd’s purse fruit

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at