Garlic-Mustard, Alliaria petiolata


Garlic-Mustard, also known as Hedge Mustard, or Jack-By-The-Hedge, is a biennial flowering plant in the mustard family. It can often be found, as one of it's common names suggests, within the shady bases of hedgerows, where it makes a lovely showing every spring. Being Biennial, It has two stages of growth - a first year, and second year. During it's first year, the plant produces green, slightly toothed, heart-shaped leaves. In it's second year, the plant produces a tall flower spike, on which blooms small groups of white, four-petalled flowers. Second-year growth leaves are also a slightly different shape, becoming more arrow-head, with deeply serrated leaf edges. This gives the plant a more "jagged" appearance over all. The leaves are a flavourful mix of garlic, with a hint of mustard, making them a very versatile green with a range of culinary uses. The flowers, seeds, and roots are also edible.

Garlic-Mustard Checklist


🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
πŸ‘ Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏑 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.


πŸŒΈπŸŒžπŸ‚β„οΈ Jan - Dec


☘️ Garlic-Mustard is a biennial plant. In it's first year, the leaves grow in a small rosette with broad heart-shaped and vaguely toothed leaves. In its second year, a flower spike grows from the rosette and the leaves become more arrow-head shaped with jagged, stongly serrated edges.


🌷 Tiny, white, four-petalled flowers grow in groups from the top of the flower spike in it's second year of growth. They bloom between April - June.


🌱 The flower stem grows vertically from the centre of the plant in it's second year of growth. It produces flowers and is up to 1.5 meters tall.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 After flowering, thin, erect and green seeds pods emerge from the flowerheads. The seeds can be used as mustard.

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌷 Flowers
🍏 Seeds
🍠 Root

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ Leaves smell mildly of garlic when crushed.
πŸ‘… Leaves taste mildly of garlic with a subtle mustard kick.
πŸ‘… The seeds can be used as mustard seeds.
πŸ‘… The roots of second-year growth plants taste of mild Horseradish.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ The distinctive leaves are a key identifier of this plant.
πŸ‘ƒ The galic smell of crushed leaves is also a key identifier.


πŸ₯— Salad - Young Leaves can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - Flowers can be used as a pretty salad garnish.
πŸ₯¬ Green - Can be cooked as a leaf vegetable.
🌿 Herb - Can be used to add flavour or as a pot-herb.