Please identify this plant

Asked April 23, 2020, 12:38 AM EDT

The attached picture shows a green leafed plant with small white flowers thst is growing next to peonies. Can you tell me what it is? Thank you! Sincerely, Lorene Pregenzer

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

This is a very invasive plant called garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). It is a biennial plant -- the first year it just grows low leaves and in the second year it grows tall and blooms with white flowers. It spreads very effectively by seeds and the seeds can remain viable in the soil for ~10 years. If you have had these plants in your area for awhile, it may take several years to get them under control because of the seed bank in the soil.

Pull out all that you see and dispose of the plants in the trash before the seeds develop. Limiting seed dispersal is key. On our website you will find details about garlic mustard and how to manage it, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/garlic-mustard. Michigan State University has good information too. https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/invasive_species/garlic_mustard/about_garlic_mustard

Also, here is our video about garlic mustard, https://youtu.be/WvJMab8b7PQ.

Christa