Invasive plant: Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

This post is by Jocie Brooks, leader of the Botany Group, from an email to members of the group on April 27.

I was out walking along the Puntledge River recently (downstream from the Condensory Bridge on the Courtenay side), and I came across some large patches of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) at the bend in the river. The plants are over knee high and just coming into flower (white flowers). I recall seeing this terrible invasive a few years ago in Victoria. From the looks of things…it’s been at this location for at least a few years.

I have notified Jim [President] and Karen Cummins [Wetlands Restoration Director] about it. Karen is looking into what might be possible for removal. It is somewhat complicated as the ownership of the land overlaps with the City, CVRD and KFN.

I’m attaching some photos here. As well, download this information pamphlet from the City of Victoria which has everything you need to know about it. One thing I’d like to add, however, is that this plant is edible. Yes, you can make pesto with it, toss it into salads and soups etc. Being in the mustard family, it has a bit of a spicy “kick” but by all reports it is a favourable edible.

If any of you have seen garlic mustard anywhere else in the Comox Valley let me know…hopefully it is only at this one location!

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