Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pull it!

So all winter, a mysterious volunteer thrived in our back yard, impressing us with its tenacity and will to survive. The few freezes we had just barely burned the leaves. What was it? I posted photos of it last month on Facebook, and folks weren't sure. I could tell it was definitely in the mustard family. Honestly, we were hoping for some kind of veggie producer. But what? 

So I questioned Cheryl, who owns Blanco Gardens, via Facebook, and she wrote back: "It looks like giant mustard–"bastard cabbage"–which is a terrible, invasive weed. I'd dig it out and see if it has a long taproot–more proof it is a plant you do not want!"


"Hmmm," I posted back. "THE bastard cabbage??!!!!!!! I'll check it out. Most of that stuff I see is tall and leggy, not bushy. Heaven forbid we have THAT TERRIBLE invasive in our gardens!!!!!!!

But alas, I fear we do.


I took plenty of photos and then yanked the dastardly thing OUT. No point in taking any chances! Rapistrum rugosum is a species that is rapidly moving into Texas and pushing out our beautiful natives. The puzzling thing about this particular plant in our back yard is that it looked so different from the ones we see along highways, which tend to be straggly and tall. Our is/was extra bushy and robust. 

"I guess it was just really happy growing in our gardens," I told James. 

I still wonder, though, if our plant really was a bastard cabbage. Any thoughts? 

These two photos below were taken March 25, 2015.


Melody said...

I had the exact same experience! I live in the San Antonio area and noticed a new "weed" that was in my front and back gardens. If I don't know what something is, I wait to find out.Some times it's a new wildflower I'm thrilled to have. Well, yesterday I saw that it had bloomed and knew exactly what it was! Out it came!!! Makes me wonder how it got to my property. I haven't seen any in our area. Does anyone know the history of this plant? Thanks for sounding the alarm Sheryl!

Karen Webb said...

You can see these all up and down the highways from Austin to Corpus....hwy 123 to 181...soon they will block out the bluebonnets....

TexasDeb said...

I saw lots of mustard between Washington and Travis county all along the highway into Bastrop. I'm hearing folks argue that the mustard plants will only "take" alongside roads and in disturbed soil, so they'll only pose a threat to roadside flower displays and aren't worth eradication efforts (specifically not public funds) but if they are popping up in gardens already that attitude won't wash. Do you think birds are spreading the seeds?

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