Garlic Mustard

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Garlic Mustard produces allelochemicals, mainly in the form of the cyanide compounds allyl isothiocyanate and benzyl isothiocyanate, which suppress mycorrhizal fungi that most plants, including native forest trees, require for optimum growth.However, allelochemicals produced by Garlic Mustard do not affect mycorrhizal fungi from Garlic Mustard’s native range, indicating that this “novel weapon” in the invaded range explains Garlic Mustard’s success. Trampling encourages additional seed growth by disturbing the soil. Seeds buried in the soil can germinate up to five years after being produced (and possibly more). The persistence of the seed bank and suppression of mycorrhizal fungi both complicate restoration of invaded areas because long-term removal is required to deplete the seed bank and allow recovery of mycorrhizae.

The garlic mustard plant is very common on the north marsh.


3 Comments on “Garlic Mustard

  1. Thank you, Mike, I have been wandering around seeing this plant everywhere and vaguely thinking I once knew its name. Could have looked it up, I suppose, but now you have informed me. I thought the name had “frog” in it somewhere, but think I must have mixed it up with an aquatic plant. Nice picture.

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