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      Garlic mustard hinders wildflower growth

      It's a recurring problem that just won't go away.

      The invasive plant, garlic mustard, has made its way to the Copper Country. Botanist Janet Marr says some people may not know the effects of garlic mustard, so she is teaching people the characteristics of the plant.

      â??They get out of hand. They spread, not only along disturbed areas, like roadsides and trailsides, but they can go into undisturbed in high quality, natural areas,â?? said Marr.

      And that can keep the Keweenawâ??s natural wildflowers from flourishing.

      During this time of year, garlic mustard begins to flower. It has four white petals, and if you rub one of the leaves, it will have a garlic smell.

      The goal of the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) is to remove as much garlic mustard as possible while it is still small before it completely takes over.

      â??In our area, and our area includes Houghton and Keweenaw counties, it's been found in 14 to 15 locations,â?? Marr said.

      One of the most common places for garlic mustard is around your home, but it can also be found in wooded areas. The best way to remove garlic mustard is to pull it out of the ground, but you want to make sure you get as much of the roots as possible so that it does not resprout.

      Garlic mustard spreads by its seeds, and those seeds can last up to 10 years. Botanists say if you find the plant, do not compost it because it doesnâ??t kill the seeds. The best way to dispose of garlic mustard is to double bag it and take it directly to the transfer station.

      For more information on what to do with garlic mustard, contact the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District at (906) 482-0214 or e-mail