Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a shade-tolerant biennial plant that thrives in woodland settings. It is considered a serious invasive pest of natural areas, particularly woodlands, displacing native flora and severely reducing species diversity. Its aggressive, rapid growth allows it to form dense carpets that prohibit growth of other species.
Recent research shows that Garlic Mustard can release chemicals that destroy the mycorrhizal fungi that many trees depend on for nutrients. When Garlic Mustard invades a site, growth of tree seedlings is reduced. Like many non-native plants, Garlic Mustard has few natural enemies to help keep it in check.
Garlic Mustard at the FWG
Garlic Mustard grows mainly in the Old Woodlot at the FWG, although in recent years we’ve found patches in our Old Field habitat and at the end of our Amphibian Pond.