Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.

Shepherd's Purse

Annual herb to about 30 cm tall, roughly hairy. Leaves to about 15 cm long in a basal rosette, narrowly oblanceolate to lyre-shaped, entire or divided. Flowers having sepals without a sac; petals white, 2-3 mm long; spring. Fruit triangular, 6-9 mm long, flattened and with the valves ridged, strongly notched at the tip.


Widely naturalised in both the northern and southern hemisphere as a weed of disturbed areas and sometimes found as a weed in gardens.

Distinctive purse-shaped fruits on stems with flowers at the tip.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Brassicaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Brassicales
family       Brassicaceae
genus        Capsella Medik.