Invasion of alien species vs woodland wildflowers

The understory of our native woodlands looked like this: 13082659_10209355265388533_7435100408612435351_n

Until a single garlic mustard plant took root (foreground, white blosoom): 13055033_10209342197101834_8464807196358745222_o

One plant, 10,000 seeds, all viable: 13091982_10209355265508536_4913173151574408693_n

The invasion is swift: 13094376_10209355265548537_2131042128397066828_n

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:


1914715_10209005152955941_7763879137578594132_nTrillium (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.







About carolkean

novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for Liberty Island and Perihelion Science Fiction; native prairie/guerilla gardener; champion of liberty, indie authors & underdogs; one of the top two reviewers in Editors &Preditors Poll 2015; Amazon Vine, NetGalley Top Reviewer
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3 Responses to Invasion of alien species vs woodland wildflowers

  1. Wait, is “garlic mustard” a euphemism for Jew?
    I can never tell with you Germans, what with the six million. I still have nightmares of being turned in to a lampshade! Oi vey….


    • carolkean says:

      “You Germans”–? I’m fourth-generation American with a mix of Irish, Algonquin, Polish/Prussian/Pomeranian, and more.
      No idea if garlic mustard is something Jews are known for eating (and bringing from Europe to the New World).
      I hope nothing in your life today happens to reinforce your fears. You remind me of someone who fears all white people are out to lynch him for his skin color.


  2. meradethhouston says:

    This seems to be a problem everywhere! I’ve noticed the same at home and my adopted Montana. I wish there were a way to more effectively stop the invasion! Reminds me a bit of Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver–I love how she talks about the issue there.


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