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Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Posted by joyfulsnowflake Zone 4 (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 4, 06 at 13:48

Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

In China, we eat the leaves, and root of this plant and it is considered a local delicacy. Picking it in the fields is considered a fun activity among girls in the spring. It is also commercially grown for consumption and sold on the market fresh, like a vegetable. In MN's Asian grocery stores, you can buy it frozen. I wrapped some dumplings last night with it. It was delicious.

Now comes my questions: does this plant grow here in the wild in Minnesota? Is it grown as a herb here? I'd love to get some seeds and grow some fresh ones if I can.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

  • Posted by jel48 Z3/4 Minnesota (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 4, 06 at 19:55

I don't know if it does or not but I did find this....


RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?


According to the link you gave, it does grow here, at least around Twin Cities area. It seems to be considered as a weed here. :-( Next spring I will go out to the fields and look for it. Most photos show the flower only. We actually just eat the leave part. When the plant flowers, it is too tough to eat.

This is the part we eat, while it is still young and tender:

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Great information. I'll be looking for it this spring. Other edible "weeds"

dandelions (before they flower) Grandma used to make a salad, and the Amana Colonies where she was from make wine!

purslane - really good just out of the garden

nettles - boiled first to get rid of the sting

I'm sure many more!


RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Yeap, I remember digging Purslane as a child. We had a great earthquke in 1976 and camped out for about a year. Food was limited. Purslane was a main suppliment for vegetable. We children felt so proud and accomplished when we brought home basketful of Purslane. :)

I've never had nettles though.

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Shepherds Purse is a common winter annual weed here. Although you do see it sprout in spring (and can grow it likewise), naturally it begins in summer to fall, survives the winter, resumes growth in early spring, blooms and finishes it life cycle by early to mid summer.

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Good information, Rick.

I got some Shepherds Purse seeds from a friend. Planted them in spring and they grew a little bit, not big enough to eat, and flowered. Now I know why. I should sow them in late summer and perhpas harvest in fall.

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

Actually, I am not exactly sure what happens in late summer/fall, as far as actual plant growth. I have always pulled them before they get very big. It might be that rather than producing tons of leaves, they will opt to store the energy for the following spring (when flowers are produced), and that might be when the best time to harvest will be. You'll need to either experiment, or do some research.


RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

  • Posted by JCTsai 8B - Yulee, FL (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 13:35

Where did you get the seeds? Thanks

RE: Does Shepherd's Purse grow in MN?

In our area Sheperd's Purse can be an invasive weed. It gets it name because the seeds look like little purses. It is used as medicine in some areas. Makes a nice addition to your dried arrangements.

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