Identify Plant w Empty Branches at Top & Little White Flowers

nnyerJune 16, 2014

We're located in the Watertown, NY area. The attached photo shows the overall growth of the plant on the left and a close up of the leaf and flowers on the right. This plant is growing in the wild, under our deck. It is the kind of plant that dies to the ground come winter. I didn't see any thorns, fruits, or seeds, but it does have tiny white flowers. At the top of the plant, there are lots of branches/stems with no leaves or flowers on them. The back of the leaves are about the same coloring/shininess as the front; they aren't hairy. The leaves alternate along the stem and are serrated. The plant is no higher than 4'. Thank you in advance!

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carol23_gw

Garlic mustard, Get rid of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alliaria petiolata

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:15PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

And soon before it drops its seeds!

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:21PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Watch out. The 'empty branches' are green, unripe seed pods. Get them off quick.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:26PM
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CaraRose

A bunch of it is growing along my neighbor's fenceline. Ugh. I expect to be pulling it next year.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:54PM
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nnyer

Ack! Thanks, all. And pardon my ignorance, but why is this plant so unliked?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 3:10PM
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bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

imho Alliaria petiolata is a nasty-bit-o-business

from the link below:

"ECOLOGICAL THREAT
Garlic mustard poses a severe threat to native plants and animals in forest communities in much of the eastern and midwestern U.S. Many native widlflowers that complete their life cycles in the springtime (e.g., spring beauty, wild ginger, bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, toothworts, and trilliums) occur in the same habitat as garlic mustard. Once introduced to an area, garlic mustard outcompetes native plants by aggressively monopolizing light, moisture, nutrients, soil and space. Wildlife species that depend on these early plants for their foliage, pollen, nectar, fruits, seeds and roots, are deprived of these essential food sources when garlic mustard replaces them. Humans are also deprived of the vibrant display of beautiful spring wildflowers.

Garlic mustard also poses a threat to one of our rare native insects, the West Virginia white butterfly (Pieris virginiensis). Several species of spring wildflowers known as "toothworts" (Dentaria), also in the mustard family, are the primary food source for the caterpillar stage of this butterfly. Invasions of garlic mustard are causing local extirpations of the toothworts, and chemicals in garlic mustard appear to be toxic to the eggs of the butterfly, as evidenced by their failure to hatch when laid on garlic mustard plants. "

Here is a link that might be useful: PCA - Garlic Mustard

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 3:33PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

It has no place in US ecology. But it is native here in the UK and causes no trouble. It is host plant to one our, increasingly rare, butterflies, the Orange Tip.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garlic Mustard

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:07PM
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nnyer

Thanks, all. These guys are getting nixed ASAP!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:08PM
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