AHA! Identified the scoundrel. Garlic mustard

River Vale, NJ

It's growing all around the edges of our property, where the land is completely unkempt. Several trees must have once been there, but they're gone now (some rotting stumps and such remain). There's no garden bed, but just random living things that have moved in. Our neighbors also seem to have planted various thorny vines, which are creeping in (but that's another story).

We bought our house about 17 months ago, and we're just now seeing these buggers coming up, but there are a ton of them. Thankfully, they seem to easily come out, roots and all.

At first I wasn't sure if they were weeds or invasive, and the flowers are kind of pretty. But something about the stalk and leaves just turned me off. They looked, um, angry.

Looks like I have a big big job ahead of me! Maybe I can get my preschoolers to help. They'd LOVE it (seriously, they would have a blast). Anyone know if the plant is toxic in any way? If so, obviously my kids will need to be hands off.

This message was edited May 12, 2010 12:20 PM

(Audrey) Dyersburg, TN(Zone 7a)

Can you post a pic?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

The leaves are actually edible - garlicky taste, by others' accounts. Some folks are making pesto out of it.

I don't know that I've ever heard of any issues of toxicity, but check any reputable invasive species website to confirm.

Teaching kids about these problems, and getting them to assist in the physical solution - that's a good direction.

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Beware of those "pretty seeds", those little suckers go to seed and another 100 plants pop up in place of the one. Don't let them get to the point of reseeding!

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