Garlic mustard is a biennial herb and grows as a rosette of kidney-shaped leaves in the first year. The second-year plant can grow multiple stems up to four feet with triangular, sharply-toothed leaves. In May, four-petaled, white flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stem. Garlic mustard produces a multitude of seeds, which can remain viable for seven years or more.
Confirmed observations of Garlic mustard submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database. For more information, visit iMapInvasives
Garlic mustard thrives in deciduous forests and partially shaded, moist habitats.
Threats & Impacts:
With an early spring jump on native plants, this invader dominates forest understories. It releases chemicals harmful to soil fungus important to native trees.
Mechanical - Small infestations of garlic mustard can easily be managed using manual control techniques. Dig or pull up the entire plant including, taking care to remove the entire root system. Plants should be removed before seed set, which typically occurs by mid-July. Bag and remove all plant parts from the site. Solarize by placing bagged plant material in the sun for at least two weeks and then dispose of in an approved landfill. Do not compost invasive plant material.
Chemical - Garlic mustard can be effectively treated with a foliar spray of glyphosate or triclopyr based herbicide. Selectively apply herbicide to second-year plants at least two weeks prior to seed set. First year rosettes can be treated in early spring or late summer when other native species are dormant.