The understory of our native woodlands looked like this:
Until a single garlic mustard plant took root (foreground, white blosoom):
One plant, 10,000 seeds, all viable:
The invasion is swift:
Sadly, one lonely little blossom holds its ground (bottom of photo), but not for long:
Hundreds of species, not just spring wildflowers, are affected.
Foreground (lower left): wild ginger with garlic mustard encroaching:
Trillium (white) next to Jacob’s Ladder
I’ve yet to identify the flower (one of a thousand varieties of rue or anemone) below the March bluebell. Its leaves elongate, and a cluster of blossoms tilt down like a chandelier from a slender stem.
But at the rate the garlic mustard is spreading, no trace of this flower may be left in the all-too-near future.
If you see a garlic mustard plant, pull it. The whole root. Destroy it.
This land is adjacent to mine, 80 acres of Department of Natural Resources hunting grounds. Maybe Trees Forever could recruit some volunteers (how about letting some felons out of jail for a spring outing and a garlic mustard pull?). I simply cannot, by myself, keep up with all the invasive species on my own land, much less the whole county’s.