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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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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!

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Wednesday - April 02, 2008

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native, invasive Rapistrum rugosum
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the name of the alien, spindly, yellow mustard that we see blooming around Austin now ? Is it Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) ?

ANSWER:

We believe the one you are referring to, which is indeed in bloom all over Austin right now, is Rapistrum rugosum, Bastard-Cabbage. It is native to Central Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. The website we have linked you to is the Plant Conservation Alliance Least Wanted List. You can compare it with this picture and descriptive article about Sisymbrium officinale, Hedge mustard.

 

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