- Garlic mustard is an herbaceous plant found in the understory of high-quality woodlands, upland and floodplain forests and disturbed areas.
- It inhibits beneficial fungi associated with native plants, causing a decline in herbaceous vegetation within five to seven years.
Garlic mustard should be reported. Learn how to report invasive species in Minnesota.
How to identify garlic mustard
- Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial herbaceous plant.
- It forms a rosette in the first year, one to six inches tall, and grows to one to four feet high in its second and flowering year.
- Often the only plant of this height blooming white in wooded environments in May.
- Weak single stems.
- Dark green leaves are round with a scalloped edge.
- Second year plants have alternate leaves. Leaves and stems smell like onion or garlic when crushed.
- Leaves remain green throughout the winter.
- Numerous small, white flowers with four separate petals are present on second year plants.
- Slender capsules, one to two and one half inches long, containing a single row of oblong black seeds.
- Seeds mature in July or August and are viable in the soil for five years.
- Spread along wildlife trails.
- White, slender taproot, S-shaped at the top.
- If pulling plant, need to remove the root.
Reviewed in 2020