San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Loop


Bastard cabbage under attack at Ringtail Ridge

And that’s a good thing. Bastard cabbage also known as turnip-weed, common giant mustard, ball mustard, wild turnip, wild rape and tall mustard-weed and the scientific name, Rapistrum rugosum.  It is designated a terrestrial noxious-weed seed in the state of Texas.*

Two years ago Schulle Canyon, Ringtail Ridge and Blanco Shoals natural areas were overrun with the fast spreading plant. It’s not just the natural areas but area highways, parks and vacant lots are often covered with the little yellow flowering plant that can achieve heights of five and six feet when conditions are right.

Dick McBride uses hand tools to uproot the bastard cabbage.

What does invasive mean?  No wildflowers. No native grasses. And all the insects and wildlife that thrive on native plants.

The small crew of volunteers attack the plant with string trimmers, hand tools and rakes and hoes. Seemingly the huge undertaking is beginning to show results.  After an area is weeded then grass seed purchased by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and native wildflower seed donated  by local groups are spread over the tilled soil. With this winter’s rains we’re seeing something different on the surface of the soil.

There’s still much work to be done.  Volunteers meet Sunday afternoons at Ringtail Ridge and tackle the project.  For more information go to the “Contact Us” tab on the homepage of the website of

More photos at

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