Illustrated Guide to
of New Zealand
Weeds of New Zealand
by Ian Popay, Paul Champion & Trevor James
ISBN 0 473 09760 5
by kind permission of the
Zealand Plant Protection Society
Publication or other use of images or descriptive
text on these pages is unauthorised unless written permission is
obtained from the authors and publisher.
of the publication Common Weeds of New Zealand must always
Available from Touchwood
forming a flat rosette with very variable, lobed leaves. The flowering
stem grows up to 30 cm tall from the rosette, and has small, white
flowers and the very characteristic heart- or 'purse'-shaped seed
White, 2.5-3 mm in diameter, with four small, white, undivided
petals, and four green sepals half the length of the petals. Flowers
on slender, spreading stalks at the top of the flower stem. Flowers
Distinctive heart-shaped capsules, 6-9 mm long, greenish-brown,
on long stalks. Capsules split when ripe into two valves releasing
many tiny pale brown seeds.
Basal rosette leaves deeply lobed to entire, 5-20 cm long, narrowed
towards the stalk. The arrow-shaped and toothed stem leaves have
ear-like projections clasping the stem. The leaves, even on small
seedlings, have scattered, star-shaped hairs, visible with a hand
Erect, thin, branched, 15-30 cm tall.
cultivated land and bare ground.
NZ and the offshore islands. Originally from Europe.
Very common in cultivated
soil everywhere in NZ, more common in winter, but can germinate
and grow at any time of the year if moisture is adequate. The
plants are commonly infected with a white rust fungus. Shepherd's
purse is apparently renowned among herbalists for its ability
to check bleeding.
of botanical name
(Lat.) = little sachet; bursa-pastoris (Lat.) =
shepherd's purse, referring to the distinctive seed pods.
On this site
Reproduced from Common Weeds
of New Zealand:
- Weedbusters is a weeds awareness and education programme that aims to
protect New Zealand's environment from the increasing weed problem.
- A free tool to assist farmers and agricultural professionals in decision-making regarding weed and pest identification, biology, impact and management.
- New Zealand Weeds Key
- An interactive identification key to the weeds of New Zealand. Developed at Landcare Research.
Zealand Plant Conservation Network naturalised plants
- Search for information on more than 2500 naturalise and weedy plants.
Zealand Plant Protection Society
- Their main objective: "To pool and exchange information on the biology
of weeds, invertebrate and vertebrate pests, pathogens and beneficial organisms
and methods for modifying their effects."
University Weeds Database
- A site providing information about New Zealand weeds and weed control.
It has a series of pages showing pictures of New Zealand weeds, notes on
identification and control. It also provides information on a university
paper entitled Controlling Weeds.
- Weeds in Australia
- Weeds website of the Australian Government.
Society of Victoria
- Promoting wider awareness and interest in weeds and their management.
Includes a useful page of links
to other weed societies.
Valley Weeds Strategy
- Listing of common and botanical names, images, and information including
control methods for weeds found in Tasmania, and also weeds of national significance.
and Exotic Species of North America
- Images and other information from the University of Georgia.
- Weed-related resources including weed science, practical tools, gardening
tips about controlling weeds, and environmental news updates.
Species Specialist Group
- "The ISSG aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native
species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species,
and of ways to prevent, control or eradicate them."
- Site that includes a comprehensive collection of weed images from around
on Weeds from FetchBook.Info