Garlic Mustard: Invasively delicious

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No, I am not sure what the phrase “invasively delicious” actually means, but it sounded like “magically delicious” from the cereal with a rabbit mascot.

I digress…, Garlic Mustard season is here (March – April). Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is native to Europe and Asia and was brought to the America’s as a spice much like lemon balm. I think it tastes lovely, but I also am paid to kill acres upon acres of it each year. What can I say, we have a weird relationship.

Garlic Mustard lives its plant life in an unusual way. For it’s entire first year, it just has some nice vegetative leaves and doesn’t flower. It invests its time in collecting lots of energy from the sun, creating a nice root system and prepares for its second year of life. The way GM sees it, the more energy they get in the first year, the more seeds it can produce in the second year. This is reason #1 it is so invasive: LOTS OF SEEDS.

Aside from the lots of babies, GM produces some chemicals in it’s roots that act as an herbicide to all other seeds except GM. It’s only an issue for other plants, not humans. Talk about parental care for your babies! That’s reason number #2 it is so invasive: parental care.

The last reason it is so invasive, as if it needed yet another reason, is because deer find it completely unpalatable. Even the goats of the wild game world (deer) don’t even want to eat it. So deer will select to eat the native plants instead of the garlic mustard. So that gives the garlic mustard more space to grow and throw down seed. So reason #3: nothing eats it except….US.

So that’s where you and I come in. I have a special ebook for you! It is the comprehensive garlic mustard guide that you can print and take with you to the field. It is filled with pictures and not *too* science-y. I did throw a few terms in there to help out. And it’s completely free. Fill out the info below to get your copy!

 

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