Weeds, Not Wildflowers: Part 2

Have you seen these weeds? These aggressive invaders are blooming along roadsides, in forest preserves, and in your own backyard. They are not native wildflowers and can smother our desirable species. Don’t let them get a toehold on your property. We can help! Share this so we can spread the word about invasive species.

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Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata

Garlic Mustard is widespread throughout the Midwest. Reaching about two to three feet high when it flowers, it has clusters of tiny four-petaled white flowers. Garlic Mustard is biennial. The first year it forms a rosette of ruffled green leaves. The second year it flowers, sets seed, and dies. Being in the mustard family, Garlic Mustard produces thousands of seeds that disperse easily.


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Yellow Rocket, Barbarea vulgaris

Another member of the mustard family, Yellow Rocket has upright clusters of bright yellow four-petaled flowers above a rosette of dark green rounded leaves. It is also a biennial and flowers the second year. Reaching about a foot high when flowering, it sets hundreds if not thousands of seeds.




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Dame’s rocket, Hesperis matronalis

Dame’s rocket is most often confused with wild or garden phlox. However, dame’s rocket has alternate leaves and its flowers have four petals instead of five. It will flower in shades of lavender and purple in spring. Reaching about three feet high, it is also a member of the mustard family. It spreads by seed and by roots.



Wild Chervil, Anthriscus sylvestris

Mostly found in Kane County, Wild Chervil is spreading rapidly. At between three and five feet high, its flat white flowers are reminiscent of Queen Anne’s lace, but bloom earlier and are not as tightly clustered. The ferny foliage reflects its heritage in the carrot family. It’s commonly found in roadsides, ditches, and forest edges.


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Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria

A member of the buttercup family, this short bright yellow flowering perennial spreads by roots rather than by seed. Rosettes of shiny green leaves are commonly found in moist edges of forests. It can be confused with the native marsh marigold, but Lesser Celandine has narrower petals and green sepals.

If you’re dealing with any of these invaders – contact us to set up a weed management plan.


Written by Pizzo Group

The Pizzo Group is a family of four companies that restores ecosystems and provides sustainable landscape solutions that are both beautiful and functional. We do this at any job site, any size project and within any ecosystem. Our processes are collaborative and range from design through implementation.