(Bieb.) Cavara & Grande
Brassicaceae — Mustard family
Middle Run Valley Natural Area
Garlic mustard is
; the round leaves are from plants in their first year. The other plants are
White Clay Creek State Park -- Possum Hill
- To +1m tall, herbaceous, single or multiple from thick taproot (with a radishlike aroma when crushed or bruised), erect, branching above, pubescent at very base, glabrous and glaucous above.
- Alternate, glabrous above, sparsely pubescent below. Basal leaves reniform, crenate or sinuate, petiolate, to 10 cm broad, 8 cm long. Petiole to 15 cm long, with single longitudinal groove, groove ciliate on margins. Cauline leaves gradually reduced upwards, cordate to sagittate, sinuate to coarsely toothed.
Lower cauline leaf.
Upper cauline leaf.
- Terminal racemes, greatly elongating in fruit.
- Petals 4, white, glabrous, clawed (the claw to 2 mm long), 6-7 mm long, 3 mm broad at apex. Stamens 6. Filaments to 3 mm long, glabrous, white. Anthers yellow, 1 mm long. Ovary green, 4-angled, 3 mm long, glabrous. Style very short. Sepals 4, whitish with light green tips, 3-4 mm long, 1-2 mm broad, linear to subulate. Pedicels to 4 mm long, glabrous.
- To 5 cm long, 4-angled, glabrous, on thick stalk to 6 mm long, erect and parallel to stem, many seeded, style persistent as a short beak. Fruit stalks at right angles to stem.
- This plant is infamous as a noxious invasive of moist, shaded areas. It is particularly troublesome in northern areas of the U.S., but rare or absent in much of the southern U.S., and probably less of a problem in Missouri than in the northern regions. Once established, it is difficult to eradicate, having self-compatible flowers and seeds which remain viable in the soil bank for many years. Conventional wisdom asserts that seeds will continue to mature on plants which have been uprooted at an immature stage; thus collected plant material should be burned or removed from the area.
The plant was a deliberate introduction to North America, having a long European tradition of use as a potherb, salad green, garlic substitute, and source of seed oil. The leaves are edible, with a flavor reminiscent of garlic and radish. It has also been used medicinally. The flowers are fairly showy and the plant is visually attractive but it should not be spread.
Photographs taken at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, Boone County, MO., 4-11-04 (DETenaglia); also near St. Albans, Franklin County, MO, 4-6-2010 (SRTurner).
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location, or click here for a composite list of all
Federal and State Noxious Weeds
Class A noxious weed
Noxious weed seed and plant quarantine
U.S. Weed Information
This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of
Weeds of the U.S.
M. Bieberstein, Fl. Taur.-Cauc. 2: 126. 1808;
Andrzejowski ex M. Bieberstein;
simple or branched distally, (1.5-)3-9(-13) dm; glabrous or pilose basally, trichomes to 1.5 mm.
petiole 3-16(-22) cm; blade reniform or cordate, (6-)15-88(-118) mm wide (shorter in length), surfaces glabrous or pilose.
petiole shorter than basal; blade ovate, cordate, or deltate, to 15 × 15 cm, base cordate or truncate, margins acutely to obtusely toothed, apex acute.
terete, (2-)3-10(-15) mm.
sepals (2-)2.5-3.5(-4.5) × 0.7-1.5 mm; petals (2.5-)4-8 (-9) × (1.5-)2-3(-3.5) mm, base attenuate to clawlike; filaments 2-3.5(-4.5) mm; anthers oblong, 0.7-1 mm.
divaricate-ascending, subtorulose, quadrangular or subterete, (2-)3-7(-8) cm × 1.2-2.5 mm; style (0.2-) 1-2(-3) mm.
dark brown or black, narrowly oblong, 2-4.5 × 0.7-2 mm.
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