Shepherd's purse

Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is a winter annual.
Shepherd's purse - Articles

Updated: October 6, 2014

Shepherd's purse

Photo: Shepherd's-purse Capsella bursa-pastoris Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

It can be found in nurseries, the edge of landscape beds, agricultural settings, and occasionally turf. At germination, it produces a basal rosette of leaves. The first leaves to emerge are round. As the leaves lengthen, they develop deep lobes, or serrations, and can reach a length of six inches.

Seeds germinate in late summer and early fall, though some may not generate until early spring. If it germinates before winter, the plant goes through winter in the rosette stage. The following year a slender stem is produced. It has few, if any, small branches and a small number of narrow, thin leaves. It can grow to height of 1.5 feet. Tiny white flowers are produced starting in the spring and continuing into summer. The seed pods are very distinct, they are flat, with two lobes and resemble a heart.

This weed isn't quite the pest as many of the other turf and landscape weed species. Due to a taproot, prostrate foliage and a slender stem, it is hard to hand pull. However, shepherd's purse can be managed with a number of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

Pre-emergents include:

  • dithiopyr
  • flumioxazin
  • oryzalin
  • oxadiazon
  • oxyfluorfen+oryzalin
  • oxyfluorfen+pendimethalin
  • pendimethalin
  • prodiamine

    Post-emergents include:

    • bentazon
    • diquat dibromide
    • flumioxazin
    • glufosinate-ammonium
    • glyphosate

    Authors

    Integrated Pest Management Entomology Horticulture

    More by Tim Abbey