Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial herb native to Europe. (Biennial means the plant sends up leaves in its first year and typically flowers in its second.) Brought to the United States in the 1800s as an edible, it has since spread across the northeastern US, the midwest, as far south as Alabama, and as far west as Washington and Oregon. It is also present in eastern Canada. Its success is due to its prolific seeding rate, its lack of predators, and the ability of its seeds to remain viable for up to five years. Unlike other non-native plants that have more-or-less naturalized, garlic mustard is a threat to native forest ecosystems. While it will grow in disturbed sunny or partly sunny areas, it can invade the dappled sunlight of upland woods and floodplain forests. Once established, it will dominate the forest floor if left unchecked, outcompeting native wildflowers such as rue anemone, bloodroot, and wild ginger.
But there's good news.... It's delicious!Read More