En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 02, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if we could eat it, cook it, whatever. Please let me know if either is possible.

ANSWER:

We think the reference to Rapistrum rugosum (Bastard Cabbage) on a cooking show was meant as a joke. If so, we aren't laughing. Even if it were edible (and we can find no indication otherwise) there are not enough people hungry enough to go out on the Texas roadsides to gather, cook and eat the stuff, any part of it. Many of the members of the Mustard family (which this is) are indeed edible, and this plant is sometimes referred to as "wild turnip."  We are sure that the reason there was no recipe nor cooking demonstration on the program is because there are no such recipes and no one would be brave enough to eat something not certified by experts as non-toxic to humans.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Plant identification
November 02, 2011 - I have a plant that I would like to identify. It is a tall shrub/woody vine? (approx. 8-10 feet) that has very large thorns on its branches and stems. The stems remain green during winter. It loses it...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of skunk cabbage in Hopedale OH
April 22, 2010 - How can someone get rid of skunk cabbage?
view the full question and answer

Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
February 07, 2012 - Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center