Woods and areas near woods are often blooming this time of year with Garlic Mustard’s tiny white flowers, about 18-24” high, and their multi-colored relative, Dame’s Rocket, which can get up to 3 feet tall.
While pretty, both are highly invasive plants that crowd out native wildflowers over time, thanks to the thousands of seeds a single plant puts out each year. Garlic mustard was originally brought over from Europe for culinary purposes. Unfortunately, Dame’s Rocket is often included in wildflower or meadow seed mixes, but it’s not native to North America, and can cause real problems in our woods.
You can help fight for the underdog native wildflowers by pulling these plants from their base - steadily so they don’t snap off - and throwing them in your garbage (not your compost pile). To be most effective, do it this week or next, before the seeds start ripening. You can see the best way to pull garlic mustard in this video, and the same method applies to Dame’s Rocket. Please pull them in your yard, and even along City sidewalks or paths if you see them. You’ll be helping the other wildflowers out.