Shepherds Purse

Shepherds Purse

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Capsella bursa-pastoris

Shepherds Purse is an annual or biennial herb, native to West Asia.  It will grow to around 40cm high, and is adaptable to most soils and positions.  Shepherd’s Purse got its name because the seed pods resemble the leather purses, or bags, once carried by shepherds in Europe and Asia Minor and are the most distinguishing feature of this common herb.

It propagates itself profusely by seed.  The entire life cycle of Shepherd’s Purse, from germination to seed maturity and dispersal, only takes about 3 to 4 weeks. This cycle repeats itself often throughout the year as long as growing conditions remain favourable.

It has highly valued medicinal properties, and was used during WW1 to stop the bleeding of wounds and haemorrhaging.  It is often used as a remedy for nose-bleeds and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).

Sow seed approx 1mm deep, lightly cover with soil, in late Summer, Autumn or early Spring, they grow the best in the cooler months.  Drought and frost resistant.  Grow in full sun, well drained fertile soil.

Shepherd’s Purse is an easy herb to harvest, root and all even in heavy soil, doing so by moistening the soil under the basal rosette with some water. When the soil is sufficiently moistened, the plant comes up easily, roots intact.

10 seeds per packet