One invasive plant that grows wild in Indiana is not only destructive but also delicious*.

Garlic Mustard Was First Introduced in America in the 1800s

First introduced into the United States in the mid 1800s, Garlic Mustard was brought to America because of its use as a medicinal herb as well as a tool to control erosion. The plant originates in Europe and Asia but is quite invasive spreading over much of the United States including here in Indiana.

Crushed Leaves Give Off a Garlic-Like Smell

It is called Garlic Mustard because when the leaves are crushed they give off a strong garlic-like aroma. The plant is sometimes called by other names including Poor Man’s Mustard, Hedge Garlic, Garlic Root and Jack-by-the-Hedge, according to

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Garlic Mustard is Highly Invasive

The problem with Garlic Mustard is that it is an early riser. Meaning, it begins to grow much earlier in the spring than many other plants beating them to moisture and nutrients from the soil. It also can grow so densely that it blocks sunlight from other potential flora, preventing them from thriving.

attachment-Indiana Garlic Mustard

Preventing the Spread of Garlic Mustard

The easy way to prevent the spread of Garlic Mustard is to pull it before it goes to seed, preventing its proliferation. It is best to pull it after a good rain, as the soft, wet soil will allow you to pull up more of the root system of the plants. You do want to avoid composting the plants after you pull them up to prevent them from re-rooting. It is best to bag them and throw them out with the rest of your garbage.

READ MORE: You Can Eat This Seeds from This Native Indiana Tree

Can You Eat Garlic Mustard*

While you can eat Garlic Mustard, and it can be added to salads, dips, and stir fries, you need to exercise caution. Young plants are less bitter, and older plants must be  thoroughly cooked because they contain cyanide.

Medicinal Uses for Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustad was used medicinally. When consumed it acts as a diuretic. When applied topically, likely as a poultice or a salve, it was used as an antiseptic for wounds.

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