Please Help Iradicate Garlic Mustard!

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive plant in this area. Although it has been around for well over a century and has had some usefulness, it tends to take over shady areas and crowd out native plants, including tree seedlings.

As I take my evening walks, I can see lots of garlic mustard popping up around the lake. It is mostly in empty lots, but some grows beneath trees on occupied lots. While it will probably not take over a tended lot, it can cause damage in parks and other areas, including areas where wildlife depend on native plants. So the less there is, the less it can propogate to those areas.

How to identify: Wisconsin’s DNR site has a good guide on how to identify garlic mustard. In early spring, the leaves look a little like creeping charlie leaves, but won’t be in a vine configuration. Here are some photos of how it looks mid- to late-spring.

How to remove: Wear gloves or the plants’ oils will stink up your hands. If plants have already flowered, put into a plastic garbage can so the seeds can’t disperse. If there are only leaves (no flowers buds or open flowers), they can be put into a compost pile.

Uses: If you want to use a small amount for cooking (a little goes a long way) you can find recipes online, including this site Note that raw garlic mustard contains large amounts of cyanide, so it must be cooked completely and consumed with caution. Plants that have flowered are more bitter than first-year plants.