Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. - Sheperd's Purse
Family - Brassicaceae
Stems - To +50cm tall but typically less, herbaceous, erect, stellate pubescent, simple or branching, with a fairly large taproot.
Leaves - Basal leaves pinnatifid, petiolate, to 10cm long, stellate pubescent. Lobes bristle-margined, minutely toothed. Cauline leaves auriculate-clasping, linear-lanceolate, minutely toothed to entire, stellate pubescent, reduced upward. Auricles pointed.
Basal leaves in-situ.
Inflorescence - A terminal raceme to +25cm long(tall). Pedicels spreading, 1-2cm long.
Flowers - Corolla 3-4mm broad. Petals 4, white, +/-2mm long, free. Stamens 6, attached at base of ovary. Style 1, very short. Sepals 4, free, green, glabrous, 2mm long, oblong.
Fruit - Obcordate (or triangular) silicle to +3mm long, notched or truncate at apex.
Flowering - March - November.
Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, fields, pastures, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This plant is one of the most common introduced members of the cabbage family anywhere. The triangular seeds are easily recognized and edible. This is one of the earliest flowering plants in the state. It can be found throughout Missouri.
Photographs taken in Jacksonville, NC., 3-1-03, off College Ave., Columbia, MO., 4-5-04, and in Auburn, AL., 2-19-05.