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Q: Bluebonnet Killer Grows Free?

Yellow flowering weed may choke out bluebonnets

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The bastard-cabbage has taken root around Austin and Hill Country this year, killing off wildflowers. Experts say it's only a matter of time until the weed makes its way to North Texas. (Published Friday, Mar 23, 2012)

    The bright yellow flower of the bastard-cabbage make a pretty picture on the site of the road around Austin and Hill Country -- until you realize what this invasive weed has replaced.

    Dallas County Master Gardner John Hunt says the weed is gunning for the same territory as bluebonnets and Indian paint brush.

    "The plant has a low growth and it germinates at the same time as the natives, so it spreads out and over competes. Then it get big and it shades them out," Hunt says.

    Bastard-cabbage has been around for years, but Hunt says the spread has never been this bad.

    "Our very modest winter and our very heavy rains all through Central Texas and North Texas means it's going to germinate very easy, very fast, very early," says Hunt. "It's on its way. It's gonna be here soon."

    Bastard cabbage is already in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The tall bright yellow flowers have been spotted in abundance along I-30 in Fort Worth and I-20 in Arlington.

    One NBCDFW user reported seeing the sunlight stealing weed in Melissa. Peggy Warren told us she has lived in Collin County since 1978 and this is the first time she's seen bastard cabbage in her area.