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On behalf of the Trilliums, Jacks in the Pulpit, Hepaticas, Spring Beauties and all their friends, thank you to the elusive volunteers who pull Garlic Mustard plants in Memorial Park.
Diversity is key to a healthy woodland; Garlic Mustard threatens that.
Twice as many plants have been bagged this year than last.
This plant is extraordinarily prolific and adaptable; seeds can survive in Southern Ontario for up to 30 years. One clump of plants can produce 62,000 seeds per square meter.
According to The Landowner's Guide to Control Invasive Woodland Plants, "Once established garlic mustard populations double in size every four years and can displace native woodland wildflowers such as Trillium and Trout Lilies in ten years. Garlic Mustard produces several phytotoxic chemicals that may affect the health of nearby native plants."
We'll never eradicate it, but we can slow its steady incursion into the parks signature Trillium beds.
Garlic Mustard was historically eaten as a potherb, especially during winter and early spring.
Next year, you're invited to come harvest potherbs for your spring salad and help pull the rest.
To get to the park, turn off Sykes Street (Hwy 26) onto St Vincent, heading towards Georgian Bay; next, turn right onto Aiken Street. At the second stop sign, keep to the right and follow Grant Street straight into the park. (no cost to enjoy a day visit).

Lindy Iversen
Friends of Memorial Park

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