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Shepherdspurse : Kentucky IPM

Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)


Shepherd's Purse, a cool-season annual weed often found in alfalfa, produces seedling plants with small round cotyledons only two to three millimeters in length. During the seedling stage, the leaves are tightly packed together and vary in size. The common name of this weed is suggested by the fruit, which is a triangular or heart-shaped capsule approximately 4-8mm long. Shepherdspurse seedling
The first few leaves of a seedling shepherd's purse plant appear round in shape, but later developing leaves have distinct lobes or triangular segments. Shepherd's purse is a member of the mustard family and can be found on roadsides as well as in turf, gardens and pastures. Shepherdspurse rosette
Shepherdspurse side view


This site was created and is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S-225 Agricultural Science Ctr North, Lexington, KY USA  40546-0091 (phone: 859/257-3571). Please send questions or suggestions to: pdillon@uky.edu