Garlic Mustard

Alliaria petiolata

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Height to 4 ft. Small, 4-petaled, clustered, white flowers; April to June. Arrowhead shaped leaves with irregularly toothed margins, leaves and stems smell like garlic when crushed. Fruit is long pod, tan outside, black seeds inside.


Mostly shady roadsides, fields, and forestry areas.

Location in Nebraska

Identified in several counties in Nebraska.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

Originally from Europe, is used by wildlife for food and nectar for butterflies, spreads by seeds and the aid of wildlife and/or water.


Competes with native vegetation by early growth, inhibits the growth of mycorrhizal fungi, and can be lethal to butterfly larvae.

Photo Credits: 

“Weeds of the Great Plains” – Nebraska Department of Agriculture
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest