SALLY BENSUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SALLY BENSUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shepherd's Purse. Illustration of the Shepherd's Purse plant, Capsella bursa-pastoris. The plant is seen with flowering parts (at right) and without. The pubescent basal leaves form a rosette with a tap-root; erect stems bear white-petalled flowers at their tips; the fruits are triangular (as seen beneath the flowers) containing oval seeds. The whole plant can be used for medicinal properties, including the treatment of uterine haemorrhage, nose bleeds, urinary calculosis, and was at one time a drug for malaria. Shepherd's Purse grows profusely as a garden weed and on waste ground, widespread throughout Europe.
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