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Reston Woman Removes More Than a Ton of Invasive Garlic Mustard

by Dave Emke August 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 13 Comments

For the second consecutive year, one Reston resident has gone above and beyond in the effort to remove an invasive plant from the community.

In each of the past five years, Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program has held the Garlic Mustard Challenge to encourage the uprooting of the plant. Garlic mustard is a widespread and aggressive non-native plant species that kills off native plants, which eliminates ground cover or food sources for local animals. According to information previously provided in Reston magazine:

Because it has few enemies in Northern Virginia, garlic mustard can completely dominate a forest floor in less [than] five years by displacing hundreds of native plants, ferns and wildflowers. Garlic mustard also damages local insect populations. For example, several butterfly species lay eggs on garlic mustard because it resembles their native “host” plant, but the larvae die because they cannot eat garlic mustard.

This year, volunteers in Reston pulled 3,080 pounds of the plant during the four-month challenge. One woman, Patricia Wagner, did her part and more. Wagner was the winner of the challenge in the individual category, pulling 2,636.5 pounds of the plant. She also won the competition in 2016, when she pulled 2,360 pounds.

In the small group category, CA Technologies won for the fourth consecutive year. This year, they pulled 166.6 pounds.

In the large group category, Reston Environmental Action also was a four-year repeat winner. This year, they pulled 277 pounds.

Image via Volunteer Reston

  • Willie Reston

    Garlic mustard, you say? I, for one, welcome this tasty foreigner to our great land.

    • Mike M

      This is the thing about most of you Libtards. You are wildly inconsistent. Invading people are welcome. Plant? Rip them up by the roots? Go figure.

      • Willie Reston

        Actually I’m very consistent, welcoming both plants and people here. Learn to read for me just one time Mike.

        And you, equating “undesirable” people to plants and thus dehumanizing them. Gee, where have we seen this before?

  • Tammi Petrine

    Wow, THANKS, Ms. Wagner!!! You are a champ! Again. “))) Well done!

  • Greendayer

    The US is a nation of immigrants – including plants. These people are killing immigrants plants.

    • Mike M

      Send this lady’s resume to ICE!

  • AnniePagan

    It makes a great spicy-kind-of-bitter pesto. Use it instead of basil in traditional pesto, or go half and half with basil. We use to make it and call it “weed pesto.” Great on toast or garlic bread. Or use for steak and greens sandwiches with provolone (taking the place of dandelion greens). Yum. Maybe we should have a garlic mustard festival and use up all the garlic mustard.

    • CE

      Please take the garlic mustard gas outside.

  • ah

    Her name sounds familiar. Is she a teacher?

  • Nathanael Greene

    Get yourselves some Round Up or Ortho Ground Clear… Come on this is America. Work smarter, Not harder. Or better yet… S-crew Reston.. let the Garlic Mustard take over.. it’s a s* hole any way

  • Lynne Gray

    I enjoy eating garlic mustard in the spring. Think of all the nutritious food being thrown away when there are so many hungry people in the world. What’s wrong with serving it up?

  • dorothea o’connell

    That’s great! Now how about a pic of what mustard plant looks like!


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