Allow me to introduce you to the worst enemy of the Ship Island Crew: garlic mustard. Although this may sound like a tasty addition to your next sandwich, we can’t wait to see the last of it here on Ship.
Garlic mustard, or Alliaria petiolata is a highly invasive plant species that has spread over several parts of the island and it is incredibly difficult to eliminate once it becomes established. On its own, a stalk of garlic mustard may look harmless, but don’t be fooled: this stuff is a pain!
While the adult plant is easy enough to uproot, it is highly persistent in its other forms. Garlic mustard is a biennial plant, which means it takes two years of growth before it flowers and produces seeds. The smaller first year plants can be difficult to find in all the other greenery of the island. Small single-leaf seedlings are even harder to spot. On top of that, seeds can stay dormant for years before sprouting, so even if we were to pull up every stalk of garlic mustard, we would still see more sprout up next year.