Notes of Interest
Seeds Maturing on Pulled Plants
Solis (1998) pulled Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) plants at four flowering stages (flowerbud, flowering, newly formed siliques, well-formed siliques) and piled each flowering stage in a separate fenced plot; the following spring Alliaria petiolata seedlings were abundant in all plots and absent from the empty control plot, indicating that pulled (and by implication, cut) Alliaria petiolata flower stems produce viable seed. Reported at tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/allipeti.html.
Cutting flowering Alliaria petiolata plants at ground level results in 99% mortality, and eliminates seed production. Cutting at 10 cm above ground level results in 71% mortality and reduces seed production by 98%. Cutting is most effective when plants are in full bloom and/or have developed siliques; plants cut earlier in the flowering period may have sufficient resources to produce additional flower stems from buds on the root crown. Reported at www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis/exotic/vegman/eleven.htm.
Introduction to United States
Garlic mustard is native to most of Europe. The plant is now found in North Africa, India, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. Analysis of genetic variation shows that in the United States garlic mustard was introduced more than once from multiple areas.
Garlic mustard was first seen or reported as an escaped weed in 1868 in Long Island, New York. Most websites say it was brought from Europe for medicinal use (the symptoms relieved are not stated) and as an early green for salads, or boiled like spinach. Some mention erosion control.
The Mustard Family
An amazing number of vegetables have been bred from the mustard family, Brassicaceae. They include rutabaga, canola, broccoli, turnip, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, choy sum, collards, radish, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, and mustard.
Deer avoid garlic mustard, at least in Illinois, although some grazing has been reported in Ottawa. (tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/allipeti.html)
Following is a report on the Nature Conservancy website (tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/allipeti.html): and summarized here:
Until 2001 garlic mustard was unknown in Alaska. That year Phil Johnson, a microcomputer specialist and naturalist, discovered a plant he did not recognize on the way to a parking lot in Juneau. It was garlic mustard, and upon learning about it, he saw that it was wiped out.
An update, 2002: Unfortunately the garlic mustard Phil found was only an outlier of a much larger population that was beyond the scope of volunteers to remove. Other options are being looked at.
A website reported that Girl Scouts tried dying t-shirts with garlic mustard leaves to produce an "intense sap green. The results were dramatic and as good as using most other natural or commercial dyes." Another site reports producing a yellow color.
One should refer to general directions for plant dyeing, then apply them for garlic mustard. Marc Imlay of the Maryland Native Plant Society suggests weighing the fabric, then using one-fourth as much alum as a mordant.
Some websites seen in 2004 are no longer posted. The most comprehensive site at present is tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/allipeti.html.
Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, once A. officinalis
Hairy Sweet Cicely, Osmorhiza claytoni, in all sections of Sligo
Anise-root, Osmorhiza longistylis, in section 1 and 6 of Sligo. Lookup in Sligo Plant Inventory.
Cutleaf Toothwort, Dentaria laciniata, in sections 7,5,3, and 1P
Slender Toothwort, Dentaria heterophylla, in section 2, moist woods; rare spring wildflower Lookup in Sligo Plant Inventory.
West Virginia cabbage white, Pieris virginiensis
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