What is Garlic Mustard and Why is it Bad?

What is it?
Garlic Mustard is an invasive species from Europe and Asia on the restricted weed list. It’s an herbaceous plant found in woodlands and disturbed areas.

Why is it bad?
Garlic Mustard inhibits the beneficial fungi associated with native plants causing a decline in other vegetation within five to seven years. It takes over an area.

How to identify it?
Garlic Mustard grows 1-6 inches tall in its first year and 1-4 feet tall in its second year. It flowers in the second year with many small white flowers each with four petals. It is often the only plant blooming in wooded areas in May. The leaves are dark green with a scalloped edge that smell like garlic when crushed.

What to do about it?
Garlic Mustard should be pulled out by hand being sure to get most of the white taproot. If it’s flowering or has seeds, the plants need to be disposed of in the trash – not composted – so it does not spread.

Learn More
You can find more information on the UofM Extension website.