84 Learn More • TexasInvasives.org • or • Plants.USDA.gov Bastard Cabbage Rapistrum rugosum Fleshy, annual that blooms early with prolific seed production. Chokes out native wildflowers such as Bluebonnets. Flowers are yellow with 4 petals. Broadleaf, taproot that looks like a mustard plant. Chop before it flowers to prevent viable seed production. Plant thrives in disturbed areas. Bastard cabbage should be identifiable by its rosettes by late fall or early winter. Once identified, Bastard cabbage should be removed by Tomahawk hoe, ensure that root system is separated from lowest leaves. If time gets away and plants bloom and develop mature seeds, it will be necessary to put cut vegetation in a landfill. When plants are young, they are easier to hoe and the minimal biomass can lie on ground to decompose in place. Historically spreads through contaminated covercrop seeds. Seeds are similar in size to those of wheat and rye, weed seed screens can fail to remove it. Use caution when purchasing cool season cover crops. Non-native. Height up to 5 ft Cool-Season Annual S. Europe / W. Asia Bermudagrass Cynodon dactylon Bermudagrass is among the most pervasive weeds. Reproduces via seeds and runners or stolons as well as rhizomes. Shallow but hardy root systems allow it to persist, even in areas where subsoil is compacted or in cracks of concrete. Frequent and short mowing as well as disturbances promotes bermudagrass to spread. It grows all over itself forming a tangled mat or thatch. Multiple treatments (hand digging, solarization) through multiple growing seasons are required to achieve control. During this process it is not advisable to attempt the establishment of natives in the treatment area. Cover crops should be used to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. If the infested area is sub irrigated or near water’s edge, we have had low success in controlling bermudagrass. Like other warm-season grasses, Bermudagrass goes dormant in winter and will look brown but is still alive. Non-native. Height up to 2 feet Warm-Season Perennial Africa N O N - N A T I V E N O N - N A T I V E Make sure you are 100% correct on identification before removal. Don’t let unwanted plants go to seed. Repeated efforts may be needed to completely eliminate. Organic control for perennials means killing the plant roots. Annuals may be reduced by keeping them from producing seeds (babies) until killing frost or chopping just below the root crown. Pick up and properly dispose alien seedheads. Soil can be full of dormant weed seeds, especially if the land was ever a farm field. Be aware, digging soil or disturbing the surface can bring up more weed seeds. New native plantings will eventually populate top layers of the soil with their seeds. Understanding the reproductive cycles and vegetative growth habits of targeted aliens will guide maintenance decisions. Hand tools are most effective on annual plants. Young seedling perennials are easy to chop before roots establish. Perennials cut above ground will come back. Most perennial plants sprout back from the rhizomes, stolons, tubers, and buds at or below the surface. Make sure you get root system of these plants. Be aware, in the “Blank Slate” phase of control, there is an associated risk of erosion by leaving bare ground for extended periods of time. Alien Species Dear ol’ friend Virginia finally handed down her Tomahawk to a friend. She is turning 93 this year... Houston, TX 2017