Shepherd's Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris

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  3. Shepherd's Purse


A widespread annual of fields, farmland, tracks and roadside verges, Shepherd's Purse gets its common name from its heart-shaped seed pods which resemble little pouches that were worn by medieval peasants. It flowers all year-round.

How to identify

Shepherd's Purse can be recognised by the green, heart-shaped seed pods held out on thin stalks. Small, white flowers appear in clusters at the top of the stems.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, field edges and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Shepherd's Purse
Latin name
Capsella bursa-pastoris
Height: up to 35cm
Conservation status