If you see it, pull it


By Colleen Peregrin

Garlic mustard 1The invasion of Carmel’s fauna by a plant called garlic mustard is a matter of concern to many people.

“Nonnative invasive species are problematic, mainly because they can crowd out native species and do not provide food for native wildlife,” said Patricia Chester, a volunteer in Central Park in Carmel.

Another problem with nonnative species is that the insects in the area are not attracted to the plant, and fewer insects have a large impact on the whole food chain.

Garlic mustard, which is causing concern in Carmel, can be seen alongside the Monon Trail. The pretty looking white flower’s exterior can be deceptive because the flower can be detrimental to the local ecosystem.

The first thing to do when you see this plant is remove it from your yard.

“Pull it out and put it in trash bags and in the trash. Do not leave it in piles on the ground,” Chester said. “A plant left bare root on the ground can continue to flower and produce for weeks after being pulled.”

There are areas in Carmel where garlic mustard is so dense it has overtaken all the native wildflowers.

Chester and another volunteer, Sue Dillon, have been battling garlic mustard for a long time and are trying to win the war against the nonnative species. Help them in their battle by pulling garlic mustard whenever you can.