"A weed is simply a plant that you don't know what to do with."
When young, the leaves remind me of dandelions, with many notches. They grow in a flat rosette and can be irregular - the leaves on one plant might or might not resemble each other.
I marked the flower heads in this photo, just to show that they are the same plant. Shepherd's purse grows in waste places and poor soil, in lawns, and as you can see here, between the bricks in our front path. The leaves are edible but should be used before the plant flowers.
Further up the flower stalk, the leaves are small and pointed.
The flowers give way to heart-shaped seed pods, which are also edible. I've tried them, they're rather tasteless but that's not a bad thing.
Shepherd's purse is part of the mustard family. You can add the leaves to spring salads or simmer them in soup; they can also be sautéed or steamed like other spring greens.
Shepherd's purse leaves are a good source of vitamin A, C, and K as well as iron and calcium, according to Wildman Steve Brill's website.
The plant is also used medicinally. Please note that its use is not recommended during pregnancy and it can interfere with certain medications, so do your homework before using it.
Remember, before using this or any other plant or herb, please research it fully.
You are responsible for your own health.
Other posts in this series:
How to Harvest Yarrow
DIY Herb Field Guide
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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