Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garlic Mustard

Last year a mystery plant appeared in my yard. It seemed at first a welcome addition, a nice, green ground cover in a very shady spot.

I thought that it might be wild ginger. The leaves were very similar and when crushed they smelled vaguely onion-y. They were a rounded heart shape:

This year, however, the plants shot up, the leaves became elongated and pointy, and the plants flowered

I found a nice picture of this very same plant while visiting the Tales of a Kitchen Herbwife blog. She identified the plant as garlic mustard.

I googled it and found that it's an invasive plant in our area. It's edible, with a garlic/mustard taste, and it can be used medicinally as well. I ate one small leaf. Wow! I can still taste it, and I'm sure that I now have a nasty case of garlic breath.

The medicinal uses can be found here and here.

Right now I'm thinking that I want to erradicate what I have in my yard so that It doesn't begin to take over. I'm not a huge garlic lover, so I don't think I'll be tossing it into my salads, and I know of other plants which can do the medicinal duties that this one is said to be good for.

So it looks like I'll be saying goodbye soon to my garlic mustard.


adrienne said...

It's a shame when an interesting plant starts taking over. A teeny piece of baby tears hitchhiked into my garden, and now there's no stopping it!
Happy weeding. :)

Kim said...

Oooh, I've had a lovely catch up with your recent posts and those mutant dandelions look truly scarey. Your dog is gorgeous :)

Kim x

ICQB said...

Hi adrienne!

I'm trying to see if I can get my kids to do the weeding. Please wish me luck ; )

ICQB said...

Hi Kim!

Those dandelions are scary. I hope they don't become the norm!

And thank you - after a bath and a brushing, if you tell my dog he's a handsome boy he goes all waggy : )