Garlic Mustard By Sarah Tse

When stumbling upon a white-flowered stem plant it might seem like a harmless, delicate plant but truth unfolded, it is a destructive plant called Garlic Mustard.


Garlic Mustard has many other names like Jack-By-The-Hedge, Garlic Root, Sauce-Alone and many other common names. But this is the specific, scientific names of this invasive species:

Kingdom: Plantae

Species: Alliaria Petiolatta

Order: Brassicales

Family: Brassicaceae

Genus: Alliaria


This invasive species can be identified with the following description: Deeply growing, thin, white roots with stalky triangular heart-shaped leaves growing out of the stem. The flowers are button like with clusters of green pods dispersing seeds. Garlic Mustard is scented as horseradish. Garlic Mustard ranges in size to 30-100 cm. Garlic Mustard is self-fertilized or cross-pollinated.

Description Of Habitat

Garlic Mustard is rapidly growing and large patches of it can be found dispersed in specific ecosystems across North America. Garlic Mustard prefers to grow near places associated with bodies of water. Examples of those include: lake shores, river sides, muddy ditches and small streams.

Garlic Mustard

This self-fertilizing plant is found in North America but originally was found in Europe. It is also found near the the borders of Asia.

Why It Was Brought Over

European Explorers

Garlic Mustard was brought over to North America by Europeans as a seasoning and medicine. Many Europeans liked to sprinkle Garlic Mustard over fish to contrast the fish's salty flavor and many doctors used Garlic Mustard in medicines as a disinfecting ointment.

Negative Impacts

This invasive species has taken away water sources for other native plants and has taken up habitat space because it is constantly growing. Garlic Mustard has allelochemicals which stimulates growth more rapidly. But due to this chemical, mycorrhiza fungi-that most plants use to to grow-is affected.

Efforts To Control

People throughout North America are making an effort to get rid of Garlic Mustard but do to it always growing it is almost impossible. Most animals stay away from Garlic Mustard due to it’s overpowering taste so it is never consumed but scientist have still found ways to exterminate this plant. One way is burning, pulling or cutting the plant for small scale extermination but large scale extermination includes spraying chemicals to prevent it from dispersing seeds but this chemical also disrupts other native plants. One way commonly used is replanting small trees around it, so it prevents in from gaining any sunlight.


Created with images by Hans - "garlic mustard blossom bloom" • BobMacInnes - "all hail the garlic mustard" • Phil Sellens - "Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) Summerfields." • WikimediaImages - "alliaria petiolata jack-by-the-hedge garlic mustard" • Hans - "garlic mustard garlic herb knoblauchhederich"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.