Dormancy

    Shepherd's-Purse

    Capsella bursa-pastoris

    Shepherd's-Purse

    Shepherd's-purse (Robert Videki, Bugwood.org)

    Shepherd's-purse

    Shepherd's-purse seedlings (Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org)

    Shepherd's-purse

    Shepherd's-purse seedpods (Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    • small herbaceous plant with erect stems 1 – 20 inches tall
    • most of the leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant
    • small white flowers with four petals grow at the tips of branches\
    • after the flowers fade, stalks elongate, producing a flat purse-shaped seedpod

    Location

    • gardens, lawns, cropland and open spaces

    Life Cycle

    • summer or winter annual
    • germination takes place primarily in spring and fall, but can take place throughout the year
    • flowering and seed production can take place anytime from April through September

    IPM Recommendations

    • Seed populations can be reduced by soil solarization.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Maintain healthy, competitive desirable vegetation.
    • Cultivation is important in the fall to remove overwintering rosettes that would produce seed the following spring.
    • Pre-emergent herbicides are not always effective since germination can take place year round.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.