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Garlic Mustard A Sustainability Disaster in Our Environment By Guest Writer Susan Harris

Posted Feb 21 2009 10:31pm

image Today’s blog focuses on a serious disaster happening across the United States and Canada – the devastation of our forest floors by a plant known as “Garlic Mustard.” It is horribly invasive. Being green means stewardship – to the land – to the people. Finding a way to stop the invasion of this and other invasive plants will help us to save the eco-system.

Guest blogger Susan Harris is an awesome garden and sustainability writer, and participates as a editor and blogger for “Garden” Susan writes for  many publications and today's sustainable and relevant blog is written by Susan. Read on....

For as long as anyone can remember, the wooded valley that my back  yard is part of has been covered with English ivy.  Not just on the forest floor but even up into the trees where it matures and produces berries, berries that are then spread far and wide by the birds.  But then came another vine that - can it be? - managed to win the battle of primacy with the ivy - the five-leaf akebia.  It now has a lock on the lowest, wettest parts of the valley.

Then suddenly the fastest spreading invasive plant EVER landed in our valley -  the lovely garlic mustard.  Its beauty (of sorts) is important to mention because when I’ve shown it to neighbors I’ve image discovered that it’s been picked, brought indoors and admired!   Oh well.  Even if they removed it by its roots it wouldn’t slow the steady march of garlic mustard across the woodland floor. 

It’s really no wonder this plant is so successful.  It likes the sun, it likes the shade, it seems to like every damn location in North America.

So thank to Barbara Lucas and her pals in the Midwest for this video that goes a long way to showing exactly what mustard garlic looks like and then how to get rid of it.  I think I’ll forward this to my neighborhood Yahoo group with the broad hint that we make ridding our valley of this one plant our New Year’s Resolution for the lovely woodland we share.

Garlic Mustard Identification and Control from Barbara Lucas on Vimeo.

Garlic Mustard Identification and Control from Barbara Lucas on Vimeo.

Susan Harris is a Master Gardener, garden coach, garden and sustainability writer and blogger located the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  Visit her online at one of these wonderful websites,,

Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!, The Green Blog -, or The Garden Blog -

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