WSU Whatcom County Extension

Integrated Pest Management for Blueberries

Shepherd's Purse

(Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Annual Broadleaves

 

Shepherd's Purse

 

Habitat Characteristics

Weed of cultivated crops, including nursery, agronomic, and vegetable crops. Shepherd's purse does best in sunny, moist to dry, rich, disturbed soil. It will also grow in partly shaded, extremely poor soils.

 

Identification

This annual weed produces an early basal rosette of hairy leaves with lobed, toothed, or smooth edges. Older leaves are deeply toothed or lobed and are dark green to silvery gray, sometimes with a hint of purple. Upright stems emerging from the rosette hold small, inconspicuous, white flowers. Seed pods are triangular to heart-shaped and 2-parted. Unopened flowers are often seen on the same plant as mature seed pods. The flowers near the bottom mature first. The taproot is slender and often branched with secondary fibrous roots.

Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd's Purse

Life History

Reproduction is by seed. Seeds germinate in late summer, early autumn, or early spring. Flowering stems are produced in the same year as germination or sometimes the following year. Flowers are produced from spring to early summer and sporadically in late autumn. Plants die after fruiting in late spring or early summer.

 

Management

Cultural Techniques

     - Cultivation and handpulling will eliminate plants

Chemical Techniques

     - See Herbicide Efficacy Table (pdf)

 

Web References

USDA – NRCS Plant Profile, Shepherd’s Purse
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CABU2&photoID=cabu2_003_avp.tif

University of California IPM, Weed Gallery, Shepherd’s Purse
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/shepherdspurse.html

Invasive Species, The Source for Information and Images of Invasive & Exotic Species, Shepherd’s Purse
http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=5222

B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Shepherd’s Purse
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/shepherd.htm

Weeds B.C., Shepherd’s Purse
http://www.weedsbc.ca/weed_desc/shep_purse.html

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu