Seedlings have egg-shaped cotyledons measuring 2-5 to 5 mm long and 1-2 mm wide. Upright stems reach heights of 80 cm with several branches.
Leaves come in several different shapes sizes and types on Shepard's purse they can have no slight toothing, to deeply toothed or lobed. This species also has leaves in two different arrangements; lower leaves are in a rosette, while upper leaves are alternate in arrangement.
Wavy to deeply lobed leaves, white flowers, and heart-shaped pods are characteristic of this plant. Shepard's purse serves as a home to several fungi that attack cole crops i.e. turnip, and cabbage, this species is also host to a large number of viral diseases including: tobacco mosaic virus, beet yellow, cabbage black ring spot, cabbage ring necrosis, beet mosaic, beet ring spot, aster yellows, beet curly top, beet mosaic, cauliflower mosaic, cucumber mosaic, and radish mosaic.
Flower Seed Head:
Flowers are made up of 4 petals and 4 sepals, are white in color, and measure 8 mm across. Flowers are produced from spring to early summer and occasionally in late fall.
Heart-shaped pods appear on the elongating stem, which reaches its full length as the pods mature. Each of the pods 2 parts contains approximately 20 seeds which are round about 1 mm in diameter and dull orange. Plants can yield up to 400,000 smooth, slightly glossy seeds.
All over the United States and Canada this species is a major pest in row crops, cultivated fields, nursery, and vegetable crops as well as gardens. Shepard's purse is often found in waste areas and other disturbed soils