Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Alliaria petiolata
garlic mustard

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in lowland western Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, also in Utah, widespread from central Great Plains to eastern North America.

Habitat: Disturbed forest understory, often where moist, at low elevations.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Biennial or short-lived perennial from a taproot, garlic-scented, the usually single stem erect, simple below the inflorescence, 3-10 dm. tall; herbage sparsely pubescent with simple hairs.


Basal leaves with reniform blades on slender petioles; cauline leaves alternate, numerous, petiolate, the blade deltoid, 3-6 cm. broad, coarsely wavy-toothed.


Inflorescence a simple or compound raceme, leafy-bracteate at base and bractless above, the pedicels stout, 2-6 mm. long; sepals 4, 3mm. long; petals 4, white, twice the length of the sepals, spatulate, short-clawed; stamens 6; style short, stout; stigma capitate.


Siliques 4-6 cm. long, quadrangular, spreading but arched upward, the tips often erect.

Accepted Name:
Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande
Publication: Bull. Orto Bot. Regia Univ. Napoli. 3: 418. 1913.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Alliaria officinalis Andrz. ex M. Bieb. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Alliaria petiolata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Alliaria petiolata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Alliaria petiolata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Alliaria petiolata photos.

USDA Plants: Alliaria petiolata information.

30 photographs:
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