Capsella bursa Pastoris / Shepherd’s Purse

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Capsella bursa-pastoris, known by its common name shepherd’s purse because of its triangular flat fruits which are purse-like, is a small (up to 0.5 m) annual and ruderal flowering plant in the mustard family Brassicaceae. It is native to Eastern Europe and Asia, but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world.

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Capsella bursa-pastoris, known by its common name shepherd’s purse because of its triangular flat fruits which are purse-like, is a small (up to 0.5 m) annual and ruderal flowering plant in the mustard family Brassicaceae.

It is native to Eastern Europe and Asia, but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world. Especially in colder climates like the British Isles where it is regarded as an archaeophyte, North America and China, but also in the Mediterranean and North of Africa.

Unlike most flowering plants, it flowers almost all year round. Like other annual ruderals exploiting disturbed ground, C. bursa-pastoris reproduces entirely from seed, has a long soil seed bank, and short generation time and is capable of producing several generations each year.

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