Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

click to expand
Garlic Mustard
Biennial herb. Introduced by settlers for food and medicinal purposes. Tolerates both sun and shade.
Identification:

  • First year plants are a rosette of leaves; second year plants produce a central stem with tiny white flowers.
  • Leaves are coarsely toothed and emit characteristic garlicky odor when crushed.
  • Plants remain green in winter.
The Problem:
Spreads rapidly, especially in floodplains where seeds are dispersed by water. Out-competes native early spring wildflowers (important to pollinators), like bloodroot and Dutchman’s breeches, by releasing chemicals preventing their growth (allelopathy).