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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.

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

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Friday - May 08, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants out along public roads? Or does the State of Texas have any plans to address this invasive plant that is elbowing out bluebonnets, paintbrush, etc.?

ANSWER:

Lots of folks are dismayed by the invasion of this obnoxious plant into the Hill Country, but the State of Texas has problems probably more pressing than bastard cabbage.
 
Here is a link to an article from the May issue of “Wildflower Wire”  that tells what the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center is doing about it. In the article, Dr. Simmons suggests that pulling up the pest is one way to address the problem, and this is where you come in.

You are probably familiar with the Adopt-A-Highway Program that was established by TXDOT to combat the litter problem along Texas roadways.  If people can organize groups to pick up litter, it seems to Mr. Smarty Plants that they can organize groups to pull up bastard cabbage. This link to TEXDOT contains “Adopt-A-Highway Participation Guidelines”. Maybe you can form a group that does both; pick up litter as well as pull up bastard cabbage.

 

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