Shepherd’s purse Capsella bursa-pastoris
IDENTIFICATION – You might be familiar with this annual weed’s triangular, “purseshaped” seed pods that follow its tiny white flowers in winter, spring or summer. They form on 4- to 20-in.-tall stems emerging from a rosette of lobed leaves. Gardeners in frost-free climates may contend with shepherd’s purse almost year-round. In cooler areas, it’s generally a spring annual.
FAVORITE CONDITIONS – Shepherd’s purse doesn’t seem to be picky. Other than an intolerance for shade, it grows almost anywhere, from well-cultivated gardens to weedy fields, across the entire United States and southern Canada.
CONTROL – Hand pull or mow down young plants before they drop their seeds. Or treat with a broadleaf herbicide according to directions on the package whenever the plants are actively growing.