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Shepherd's purse is an annual tap-rooted, introduced European species that is found in North America across Canada and in all but one US state (Puerto Rico) (USDA 2011). This species begins to flower early in lowland areas in BC (February/March). It is found in disturbed sites (roadsides, fields and waste places) in the lowland, steppe and montane zones. It is readily identifiable because of the distinctive fruits (heart-shaped silicles).
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General: Annual herb from a taproot; stems simple to branched, 10-50 cm long, with simple and starlike hairs.
Leaves: Basal leaves in rosettes, stalked, 3-6 cm long, oblanceolate, more or less entire to pinnately lobed or dissected; stem leaves unstalked and clasping, lanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate, mostly remotely saw-toothed, with earlike lobes at the base.
Flowers: Inflorescene a many-flowered raceme; flower stalks slender, spreading, 7-15 mm long; petals white, with a distinct stalklike base, 1.5-4 mm long; sepals 2 mm long.
Fruits: Silicles, heart-shaped to triangular, 4-8 mm long, 3-5 mm wide, strongly flattened, broad at tip, squared-off to slightly notched; seeds numerous, minutely net-veined.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2021-05-11 9:06:19 AM
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