Rent Shop 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

Cleaning up neglected yard after construction in Austin
October 07, 2009 - We have just finished an extreme makeover on the inside of our house, but all the heavy equipment in the yard left us needing a complete makeover of the outside. The property was previously neglected...
view the full question and answer

Control of Roosevelt weed in Hays County, TX
August 29, 2006 - Roosevelt weed is rapidly taking over the ranchette which we have purchased in Hays County. Any suggestions for reducing or eliminating its presence will be appreciated. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive mimosa trees in Vincennes IN
April 29, 2014 - I have 3 Mimosa trees here in Vincennes, Indiana and so far none of them are leafing out this spring (4-28-14) Do you think that this past winter could have killed then?
view the full question and answer

Help with control of small, invasive groundcover
April 16, 2012 - I have a very invasive ground cover creeping into my yard. I've tried to identify it and it's similar to creeping charlie or garlic mustard. Leaves are triangular with jagged edges, small purple f...
view the full question and answer

Elimination of nutgrass from native flower bed
October 14, 2007 - Nutgrass!*#!* My new bed in NE Austin wraps around a hot sunny SW street corner. Grass wouldn't grow there [I wouldn't water it.] I removed the turf [mostly stickers] to a depth of about 4", carefu...
view the full question and answer

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