The Garlic Mustard Glossary

Every year we grow our Garlic Mustard community with new participants in the challenge. First off, Welcome to the team! If you’re feeling a little lost when the old pros start chatting in the field, here is a little cheat sheet for some of that terminology.

Alliaria petiolata: The scientific name for Garlic Mustard. We have also heard hedge garlic, jack-by-the-hedge, poor man’s mustard, jack-in-the-bush, garlic root, garlicwort, and mustard root. We’ll be sticking to good old “Garlic Mustard.”

Allelopathic: Chemical Warfare of the plant world. Garlic Mustard produces chemical in its roots that are toxic to many of the fungal organisms in the soil that native species need to survive and thrive.

Biennial: A plant that takes two years to grow from seed to fruition and then die.

Bolt: To grow tall quickly; flowering as seeds develop. You’ll see this in 2nd year plants.

Germinate: Begin to grow or sprout.

Monoculture: An area that has one (mono) type of plant. (Like when Garlic Mustard takes over!)

Second year plant: (Yes, You guessed it!) This differs from the first year by height, flowering, and the ability to spread seeds. These plants are the ones pullers should focus on.

Seed bank: The viable seed population in an ecosystem. Sealing bags and brushing off shoes and clothes are precautions we take to contain Garlic Mustard seeds and therefore keep them out of the seed bank.

Siliques: The long, narrow seedpod that splits open when mature. Experts estimate that Garlic Mustard plants can produce over 20,000 seeds per square foot.

Any other questions? Experts- Do you have any words to add?

Keep up the great work Everyone!


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