Garlic Mustard—Alliaria petiolata

A bienniel herb, grows most often in forest understories and along forest edges, where it displaces native plants eaten by wildlife.

garlic mustard leaves
First year plants consist of a cluster of 3 or 4 leaves rising 2 to 4 inches in a rosette. Leaves are roundish to heart-shaped and coarsely toothed.

garlic mustard plant
Plants produce many small white flowers in the second year, and grow 2 to 3½ feet tall.

garlic mustard flowers
Each small white flowers has four petals in the shape of a cross. When crushed, leaves and stems release a strong odor, similar to garlic.

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[Photos, left to right: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service,; Chris Evans, River to River CWMA,; David Cappaert, Michigan State University,]