Shepherds-purse: a winter cress | Nature Notes from Dorset

This is a tough little character! Even in the depths of winter you can find shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) in flower. I have no idea what pollinates it at such a difficult time of year for insects but somehow it must be worth this plant flowering.
Normally a weed of cultivation it thrives in gardens, field edges and areas of disturbed earth but it can also grow where there is minimal soil and can be found in roadside gutters and drains and in other bare, waste places. I have even seen it growing on concrete. The size of the plant does vary considerably, the harsher the conditions the smaller it is, but in summer and in favourable soil it can grow to be quite a strong plant.



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