Garlic mustard invasive plant. Tom Sargent Photo

Fishers Island is awash in mustard garlic. This plant is a tenacious invasive weed that exudes a chemical through its roots that inhibits native plants from growing. The flowers are self-fertile and rarely wilt without producing a hoard of seeds.

“This stuff IS ALL OVER the Island. It is really easy to pull up and bag. It’s up to individual property owners to do their best to pull this weed before seed pods develop. Each plant produces 600 seeds that remain viable in the soil for five years or more,” said FIConservancy President Tom Sargent.

“Folks can even weed while taking a walk, although it’s hard for me to take a walk, because I am always stopping, pulling and bagging!”

Mustard garlic was brought to North America by early European settlers to use as medicine and food.