Bastard Cabbage – A Widespread Noxious Cool-Season Annual Weed

Bastard cabbage (Rapistrum rugosum) is a cool-season annual, multi-branched, herbaceous plant native to Eurasia that grows from one to five feet or more in height.  It has a robust taproot and dark green leaves that are lobed and wrinkled, but sometimes have a reddish cast.  Bastard cabbage typically flowers from early spring into summer, bearing clusters of small, showy yellow flowers at the tips of its branches.  Bastard cabbage can be identified by its unusually shaped two-segmented seed capsule.  The seed capsule is stalked, with a long beak at the tip, and contains 1-2 seeds.  Bastard cabbage is also known as turnip-weed, common giant mustard, ball mustard, wild turnip, wild rape and tall mustard-weed.  It is designated a noxious-weed by both the federal government and Texas.

Bastard cabbage can form monocultures that reduce the emergence and abundance of more desirable warm-season grasses, cool-season wildflowers, or important forb species. Bastard-cabbage is commonly found in pastures, along roadsides, and on disturbed lands and is becoming invasive in natural areas such as open forests and along streams.  Bastard cabbage is best controlled while in the rosette stage.  It can still be controlled after the plant bolts, but it will require more herbicide.

Select Herbicide Options:


2, 4-D



Cimarron Max (for bermudagrass pastures, will damage bahiagrass)

REMEMBER: THE LABEL IS THE LAW! Always read the pesticide label before using.


Bastard cabbage early



Bastard cabbage roadsideBastard cabbage seed

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