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Garlic Mustard

Alliaria petiolata

Common Name: Garlic mustard
Scientific Name: Alliaria petiolata
Family: Brassicaceae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe
Invasive Range: Woodland habitats in North America
Introduction: Garlic mustard was introduced by Europeans for food, and first recorded in Long Island, New York in 1868. 
Description: ·Leaves: Simple, either triangular or heart shaped, rough teeth, deep veins.  Can grow up to 8 inches across. Garlicky smell noticeable when leaf is crushed.  Small, triangular leaves in rosette of 3-4 leaves on first year plants.  Leaves alternate on stem of mature plant.

·Stem: Single weak stem for each plant.  Can reach up to 80 cm (3 ft.) in height.   

·Flowers: Small and white.  Four petals form a cross. 

·Fruit: Long, brown seedpods

Threats: Garlic mustard releases compounds from its roots which prevent the growth of grass, herbs and seedlings.  It can advance across the forest floor at a rate of 20 ft. per year.  There is generally very low species diversity on the forest floor in areas that have been colonized by garlic mustard.
Fun Facts: Garlic mustard was originally used as a vegetable because of its high concentrations of vitamin A and C.  It lends a garlicky flavor to food.  Its juice has antiseptic properties.
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Garlic mustard ground cover
Garlic mustard ground cover
Garlic mustard leaf
Garlic mustard ground cover
Garlic mustard leaf