Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.

Shepherd's Purse

Pfl. Gatt. 1: 85 (1792) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Plant 8–50 cm high, erect, with simple and stellate hairs, often becoming glabrous. Basal leaves in rosette, petiolate, pinnately lobed with large terminal lobe or entire; stem leaves sessile, bases lobed and often stem-clasping, margins toothed or entire. Sepals 1–2.5 mm long; petals 2–3 mm long, white. Fruit obtriangular, 6–9 mm long, 4–9 mm wide, apex broadly notched; valves with net-like venation; style to 0.5 mm long, if present; pedicels 8–17 mm long. Flowers mainly spring.

*CVU, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Naturalized all States, also New Zealand, etc. Native to Europe. Common weed of disturbed rural and urban areas. .

The flattened (perpendicular to septum), more or less triangular fruits are characteristic.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1996). Brassicaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Brassicales
family Brassicaceae
genus Capsella
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Capsella bursa-pastoris in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Capsella bursa-pastoris in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory