This invasive plant likes moist forest conditions, wooded stream banks, floodplain forests, roadsides, and trail edges.
It dominates the ground layer of plants where it grows and reduces the forests' natural ability to regenerate.
What does it look like?
Garlic Mustard grows from 13-120cm tall and stays green year-round. The stem has alternating leaves that are rounded in their first year (a photo here) but afterwards are jagged and pointy. When crushed, they produce a strong garlic smell.
But don't mistake it for:
How does it spread?
Unknowingly, humans and our pets can capture seeds on hair, fur, clothes,
shoes and bike tires, carrying them to new places
where the conditions are right and the seeds literally put
down their roots. It can also be spread by wild animals.
What can you do?
Look before you leave! After a hike, thoroughly brush off your clothing and shoes. Give your pet a brush before leaving the trail too! Garlic Mustard seeds can be carried in mud so rinse your shoes, pets, and bikes off before leaving.
- Learn to detect this species early in its establishment, avoiding larger more labour intensive control efforts down the road.
- Be carefule if you pull it out!
- It can easily be pulled by hand in light, moist soils, but only for a small number of plants. This must be done over 5 successive years to ensure the seedbank is exhausted. Doing this with larger infestations could result in actually compounding the problem by encouraging the seed to spread