Dec. 5, 2017

shepherd's-purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris

Shepherd's-purse is a little annual weed, common almost anywhere in the world. Did I say annual. There ought to be a technical term for a plant like this. Polyannual? Plethora-annual? I'm-coming-at-you annual! Actually, there probably is a term and I just don't know it. When we think of annuals, we tend to assume they produce one generation a year. But some, including this, can produce several. Plants can grow and produce seed very quickly after frost is out of the ground, and will produce successive generations until frost returns. You might even see some in a sheltered nook in the middle of winter. These early flowers are close to a quarter inch. As it continues to bloom, the stems elongate, and the flowers get smaller. This east European and Asian native now grows in every state and province, and on GL and SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 4/30/11.