University of Maryland Extension

Shepherd's purse

Shepherd's purse seedheads

Shepherd's Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris. Photo by U. Mass., Amherst)

(More lawn weeds)  (Control Options)  (General Weed Gallery) 

General description: A winter annual broadleaf weed that spreads by seed. It is a member of the mustard family. Has an upright growth pattern and forms a rosette of dandelion-like leaves at the base. The common name comes from the small, flat, triangular seedpods that have a seam along the middle. In un-mowed areas can grow to 1-1 ½ inches in height.
Reproduction: Spreads by seed; germination occurs in late summer, early autumn, or early spring

Cultural control: Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.
Mechanical control: Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.
General chemical control: Spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients:
2, 4-DMCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba (be careful when using around tree and shrub roots) or Triclopyr. 

Organic control:

For a glossary of herbicide terms and additional information see: control options 


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