Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 14, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Invasive common giant mustard
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have been seeing a lot of a small shrubby plants with yellow flowers all over Austin, mainly along roadsides. Back in my day the first wildflowers of Spring were the paintbrushes and the bluebonnets. Who are these newcomers?

ANSWER:

The plant that you are seeing is Rapistrum rugosum commonly also known as bastard cabbage or, to the more sensitive, as turnip weed or common giant mustard. It is in the mustard family and is considered an invasive weed in Texas. Its seeds germinate early in the growing season in late fall and early winter, and the flowers appear from early spring to summer.

Click here to learn more about this invader, and see texasinvasives.org for information about other invasive plant species.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
February 09, 2012 - I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Invasive mandevilla from Chula Vista CA
December 10, 2012 - How can I rid my yard of mandevilla that has invaded from my neighbor's yard?
view the full question and answer

Oxalis crassipes identification
July 23, 2007 - I'm trying to identify a plant that has appeared in several containers on my balcony. The largest plant is about a foot tall, with triangular leaves, small white flowers with yellow centers, and has...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.