This week's invasive species is garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Here are some quick facts about the plant:
Native to: Europe
Other names: Sauce Alone, Hedge Garlic
Identifying Features: Garlic mustard is a biennial plant, meaning that it has a two year life cycle. In its first year, garlic mustard grows in the form of a dark green, kidney shaped rosette. Second year plants have triangular shaped leaves that produce a white flower in May. Garlic mustard is easy to identify as its young leaves emit a strong odor of garlic when crushed.
Why it’s problematic: Garlic mustard displaces many native plants such as trilliums and trout lilies, and also poses a threat to several Species at Risk, including American ginseng, drooping trillium and wild hyacinth. Therefore, the presence of garlic mustard results in a loss of biodiversity. In addition to this, when livestock eat the plant, their milk will taste like garlic, which renders it unusable.