Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Invader Type: 



Pest Overview and Identification: 

Garlic mustard was originally brought to the United States during colonial times as an early spring edible. It's tasty, garlicky flavored leaves make a fantastic pesto and great addition to soups. Help control garlic mustard by harvesting it in the spring and using it for culinary adventures.
Reproductive Strategy / Lifecycle: 

Garlic mustard reproduces exclusively by seed, and it is a prolific seeder. Each mature plant can produce hundreds of seeds (average is between 130-300 seeds per plant, although plants have been found to produce as high as 7900 seeds per plant). Seeds are viable for 4 to 7 years. Although the majority of the seeds that are produced are viable, relatively few actually germinate (this is dependant by site conditions). About 40% of seedlings reach adult stage (a mature, flowering plant). Seeds are cast by mature plants in late June, July and August and lie dormant for 18-20 months. Seedlings emerge in the spring and become basal rosettes by the fall. Rosettes stay green through the winter and as a second year plant produce a flower stalk the following spring. Mature plants flower in May and set seed in late June, July or August.