|Wednesday Whatís New: The Invasive Garlic Mustard|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 05 May 2010|
The garlic mustard with its delicate, yet showy white flowers is in full bloom in some places in the US. While itís a medicinal plant in Europe where it originated, here in the US it is an invasive species blanketing forest floors and eradicating many native woodland plants.
Garlic mustard is also an allelopathic plant, which means that it secretes chemical substances into the soil called glucosinolates. These chemicals actually alter the compostion of the soil making it toxic to insects and perhaps inhibiting seed germination of native plants. While the plants are easy to pull out of the ground, Dr. Sherri Morris, an assistant professor at Bradley University in Peoria, IL says thereís a larger problem. "If it's already changed the composition of the soil, that may not be enough. . . . What do we do then?"
Managed burns can help get rid of the plants, but Round-up, an herbicide thatís used to eradicate many invasive plants, can damage native plants and just doesnít work very well. "It can grow faster than Round-Up can kill it," said Mike Miller, supervisor of environmental and interpretive services for the Peoria, Ill., Park District.
Articles source: Delicate look hides ugly truth of garlic mustard
Photo source: www.shorewood-hills.org