Monday, November 23, 2009

Garlic Mustard take 2

For those of you that read my posting on Tuscarora Beach Drops & camping, you may have read the bit about Garlic Mustard. Well, when I went camping last week I found some garlic mustard to take pictures of for all of you who may not have yet seen this plant up close and personal.

As you can see, the leaves are almost heart-shaped, and the edges have a toothed appearance. The veins are quite pronounced as you can see.

Picture #2 shows the entire plant after I pulled it out of the ground. You can see the bulbous base, which is the best place to pull from, to ensure you get all the roots and not just stems and leaves. These were growing in the parking area next to our campsite. Typical placement of garlic usually find it at the road edge or trail edge...where seeds were likely deposited by an unsuspecting camper, when dirt containing seeds falls off a tire or shoe.

The final picture shows me burning the garlic mustard plants in the fire. Destroying the plants is the best way to keep it from spreading, as these plants can make seeds even after being pulled from the ground and left for dead!

Garlic mustard is originally from Europe. This invasive plant does not play well with native woodland plants and is the bully next door...pushing its way into our forests with astonishing speed once established.

The major reason why I really dislike garlic mustard is its ability to repel and discourage the growth of naturally occuring mycorrhizae (fungi that live in soil and form mutually beneficial relationships with plant roots). Seeds benefit greatly from these mycorrhizal synergies, and we need all the native plant seeds we can get to germinate and help reforest and repopulate our natural lands!

Next time youre out camping, or walking the dog, or just enjoying a walk in the woods, if you see garlic mustard beating up on some native plants...step in and be a hero! Rip it out and trash it!


  1. Garlic is a plant very useful in türkiyede almost all the food we use a natural antibiotic and he is great in my taste.

  2. After you pull the plants save some leaves and make them into pesto. Yum! -- Jean Nick

  3. You can also rip it out and eat it. Makes a great pesto. Imagine pesto on a camping trip!

  4. We did make pesto on the next camping trip. It was tasty! Thanks for encouraging us!