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There are a lot of trees and plants that are growing in southeast Minnesota right now, including a few that shouldn't be here-- like this invasive plant I just spotted.

We've heard for several years already about how some invasive plants have found their way to Rochester and southeast Minnesota. Like, say, the always-nasty wild parsnip. (It's the invasive plant you don't want to touch because touching even a small part of it and then being exposed to sunlight can cause some really not-so-fun burns.)

But while I was out mowing our lawn the other day, I noted another interesting-looking plant growing near our house. I used the iNaturalist app from National Geographic (it's a really cool app that identifies plants, animals, and bugs using the camera function on your mobile device) to tell me what it is, and sure enough, it's yet another invasive plant here in Minnesota.

So just what is it? It turns out it's... garlic mustard! Or, Alliaria petiolata, if you're being all scientific about it.

Now while both garlic mustard and wild parsnip are invasive plants not native to Minnesota (and they both sound like something you'd put on a salad, don't they?) garlic mustard isn't dangerous to touch, and won't cause burns on your skin the way wild parsnip might. (In fact, the video below notes that parts of garlic mustard are, in fact, edible!)

Garlic mustard (Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston, MN)
Garlic mustard (Curt St John/Townsquare Media-Rochester/Preston, MN)

But garlic mustard IS still invasive, mainly because it can cause crowd out other plants that are native here in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture notes that garlic mustard can also 'impede natural forest regeneration by producing chemicals that reduce growth of other plants.'

If you happen to find it in your yard (like I did), you'll want to get rid of it, if you can. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says pulling it out by hand is one method, but can actually spread more (thanks to its blossoms) and will only regrow unless the entire taproot is removed. You can check some other ways to get rid of garlic mustard HERE.

Now while you DON'T necessarily want to discover garlic mustard, did you know there are many other cool things to discover, perhaps on your own island here in Minnesota? Yes, you can rent your very own island, right here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Keep scrolling to check out the pictures!

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

You Can Now Rent Your Own Private Island on a Lake Here in Minnesota

If you're looking to get away, you can now rent an entire island on Lake Vermillion, up north in Minnesota.

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