[Maipc] Q's about garlic mustard: size of plants and possibly a disease

Ruth Douglas cvilleruth at embarqmail.com
Mon Apr 16 15:02:17 PDT 2012

I just got in from pulling all visible garlic mustard on my property. I have
about an acre of land in  Albemarle Co., VA, not far from the city of
Charlottesville. Much of my land is wooded.

Last year I discovered to my horror that a patch of land, which is downhill
from my house and usually not visible to me unless I walk down to it, had a
fair number of gm stems, oh, maybe 200 or more. This year there is slightly
less, but I am trying to figure out why I found such a range of sizes among
the stems I pulled.  Some are 6", some 12-18" and some up to 3 1/2 ' with
multiple stems, and a wide range of root sizes. Why would I have such a
range of size classes when I pulled virtually all of it last year (all I
could spot) before the seed pods were dry. I thought they were "winter
annuals" or biennials. If that is the case, why would there be so many
sizes? (I realize this is a bit esoteric, but I am really curious). And, I
do know that there is a seed bank.

Then, some of the plants, maybe 5% or so had upper leaves that were
"crinkled" and smaller and darker in color than usual. That makes me think
there is some sort of disease that they are getting. I can't see anything
obvious on the leaves such as fungi or insects. I have a dissecting
microscope and have saved a couple of the crinkled leaf stems.

Any help would be appreciated.

Ruth Douglas

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