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Friday, June 1, 2012

There was plenty to see a couple weeks ago in the Williamstown Wetlands.  Some of it I would rather not find.  This Garlic mustard, (Alliaria petiolata)
Garlic mustard is currently invading every nook and cranny it can sneak into.  It severely threatens many of our eastern native wildflowers such as, Spring beauty, Wild ginger, Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and Trilliums.  By hogging the sun, water nutrients and space that these plants need, Garlic mustard also deprives the animals and insects that depend on them part of their life cycle.  One species particularly affected is the West Virginia white butterfly (Pieris virginiensis).  The butterfly depends upon several species of toothwort (Dentaria) for food in its caterpillar stage. Studies suggest that the Garlic mustard produces a toxin that actually kills the eggs of Pieris virginiensis)  If you are sure of the identification, pull all Garlic mustard plants out of the ground.  Just be sure that you aren't pulling out a native plant.
Other plants are harder to spot.  Do you see the fern, below?
Right in the middle are the fertile fronds of a Sensitive fern (Oncolea sensibilis) These are tiny beads that contain the fern's spore.  Read see a photo of Oncolea sensibilis in my own garden you may click HERE,  Below is a patch that is a more mature.  Its fronds are standing high, waving to a bright morning sun.
Come back tomorrow and see a some of the wildlife that was out on or over the water this morning.



TexWisGirl said...

the ferns are beautiful. don't see them here, really.

tina said...

I don't think I have that garlic mustard here in my garden. I shall watch out for it while on my walks. I do have sensitive fern. Love that fern a lot as you know from reading my post. I too research my posts and really enjoy coming upon blog posts that post a lot of information. I take pieces from everywhere but love the personal aspect. So glad you stopped by to say hello and told me about finding that post. You are really in a similar zone and condition as what I am in. I think all gardens are so unique and individual and that is what makes them so special.

Linda said...

Yes, we have garlic mustard too. I recall a tour of an arboretum and being told that although they ask you not to pick any plants they made an exception for garlic mustard and hoped you would pull it up.

Out on the prairie said...

I like to install garlic mustard pulls. It is fun to get togther with people who like the same things.

Nellie said...

Prairie, we have Garlic mustard "pulls" around here too. Some places it is really taking over! YAY to you and whomever organizes them.

Linda, yes, I'm afraid we always find some to pull during wildflower walks.

Tina and Tex be glad you don't have it yet.