File Size: 83 KB
Alliaria petiolata   (M. Bieb. ) Cavara & Grande
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Height: 12-42 inches
Family: Brassicaceae - Mustard Family
Flowering Period:   April, May, June
Stems: Erect, unbranched or few-branched from base, glabrous or with few simple hairs.
Leaves: Alternate, simple; basal leaves stalked, upper leaves sessile; stalks .2 to 2.4 inches long; lower blades kidney-shaped, 2.4 to 4 inches long; stem leaves triangular to heart-shaped, 1.2 to 3.2 inches long and wide, progressively smaller upwards; margins coarsely toothed; tips pointed.
Inflorescences: Racemes, terminal or sometimes in leaf axils.
Flowers: About 1/3 inch across; sepals 4, oblong-elliptic, 1/8 to 1/6 inch long, ascending, shed soon after flower opens; petals 4, spatulate, 1/12 to 1/4 inch long, white; stalks short, stout; stamens 6.
Fruits: Pods, linear, 1 to 2.5 inches long, spreading, nearly straight, 4-angled when dry; seeds nearly cylindric, 1/10 to 1/8 inch long, black, ridged.
Habitat: Moist woods, roadsides, flood plains, cultivated fields, gardens, waste area; disturbed, mostly shaded sites; calcareous soils.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas.
Origin: Introduced from Europe. Thought to have escaped from gardens in the 1800s and now naturalized. Planted in gardens as a potherb and for its medicinal properties.
Reproduction: By seeds.
Forage Value: Livestock will seldom eat garlic mustard due to its odor. Cattle that have grazed it will produce milk with a garlic flavor.
Uses: In Europe, it was used as a garlic substitute, in salads or cooked as a potherb. It was also used medicinally to treat asthma. Ground-foraging birds eat the seeds.
Comments: Garlic mustard is highly invasive in moist, shaded sites. It may rapidly threaten native flora. The seeds may persist in the ground for several years. The foliage has a garlic-like odor when crushed.

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