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Re: garlic mustard was: Amer. Gardener article/Wild Greens

  • To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
  • Subject: Re: [CHAT] garlic mustard was: Amer. Gardener article/Wild Greens
  • From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 19:16:02 -0500

> From: cathy carpenter <cathyc@rnet.com>
> My reference is from the University of Illinois:
> www.inhs.uiuc.edu/edu/VMG/gmustard.html
> hope it helps.

Thanks, Cathy....that led me to a bit more research which,
interestingly, found several web sites that obviously had taken their
material from the same source, if not just copied and pasted it:-)  I
did, however, find a bit more information about the seed germination
on the USDA Forest Service FEIS site (very thorough description of
this pest and its habits):


that made this statement:

"Germination: Seeds of garlic mustard require cold stratification
before they can germinate, with 1 season's overwintering usually
sufficient to break dormancy at most North American locations"

referencing this sentence to:

 "Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1992. Seed germination biology
of the weedy biennial Alliaria petiolata. Natural Areas Journal.
12(4): 191-197. [20076]"

A bit of a search on Baskin finds that he's a  Professor of
Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky who serves on the
editorial board of Seed Science Research and has published a book on
Seeds in addition to numerous papers on the subject of seed
germination, so it seems he is a valid authority.

Also stated is that germination can take longer in cold areas, which
may be where the 20 months came from because one other online
reference said 8 to 20 months.  Now, 8 months is about how long there
is between seed ripening and germination with my lot - like August to
April - so I'm going to stick with my observations on this one:-)

Another interesting thing on the FEIS site, to me at least, was their
section on the soil seedbank.  It seems that it may not be quite as
long as I thought, although it can be, but they state that " roughly
88% of seeds that germinated did so during the 1st spring following
production..." with reference to the same Baskin article above and
further percentages for succeeding years in the soil.

Lordy but I can waste some time digging on the net! 

Thanks, Cathy!

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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