Native Range: Europe
Invasive Range: ON,QC,NB,BC
Time of Invasion: 1879 in Toronto,ON
Invasion Pathway: Intentional introduction and cultivation for perceived medicinal value
Status: Of high concern, particularly in ON,QC
Impacts: Forms dense stands, replacing native herbaceous vegetation, implicated as partial cause for endangered status of the native wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
Control Measures: Cutting, fire
(Invasive Species in Canada)
Where it grows: Garlic mustard is a cool-season biennial herb that ranges from 30 to 120 cm (12 to 48 inches) in height at maturity. This plant is shade tolerant and is not commonly found in sunny habitats, or sites with acidic soils. (Stewards in the City)
This weed has a strong of odour of garlic especially when bruised.
Coming from Europe, this plant thrives in disturbed areas spreading into forests and outcompeting our native flowers. (Dickinson et al)
How it spreads: Each plant produces hundreds of seeds. The seeds are believed to be dispersed in the fur of animals such as deer, horses and squirrels, as well as by flowing water and human activity. Seeds may lay dormant for 20 months prior to germination and may remain viable for five years. Garlic mustard begins vegetative growth early in the spring and blooms from May through early June. (Stewards in the City)
How to control it: Garlic mustard can be controlled by cutting or hand-pulling each stalk at ground level. This should be done before the seed sets (mid May). Be sure to remove the root and any stems from the area as resprouting or re-seeding may occur onsite. Removal efforts will need to continue for several years until the seed bank is exhausted. If removal is being done on a slope, cutting is recommended in place of pulling or digging to prevent erosion. (Stewards in the City)
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