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Poor Man's Mustard Alliaria petiolata

This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

An herbaceous, biennial, flowering plant in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family.  Native to Europe, western and central Asia, and Africa.  It was introduced to North America as a culinary herb in 1860 and has since become invasive.   In the first year of growth, plants form clumps of round to heart-shaped (10-15 cm long and 5-9 cm wide), coarsely toothed leaves.  The next year plants flower in the spring, producing button-like clusters of cross-shaped white flowers with four petals. The fruit is a four-sided elongated pod (4-5.5 cm long).  It starts out green and matures to gray-brown.  Inside are two rows of shiny black seeds which are released when the pod splits open mid-summer.   A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, which scatter as much as several meters from the parent plant. Crushed leaves smell like garlic.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#invasive#spring#biennial#white flowers#weed#edible weed#culinary#spring flowers#flowering#culinary herb#garlic smell#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#invasive#spring#biennial#white flowers#weed#edible weed#culinary#spring flowers#flowering#culinary herb#garlic smell#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Alliaria
    Species:
    petiolata
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, western and central Asia, and Africa
    Edibility:
    All parts of the plant, are edible. The roots smell like horse-radish and can be cut up and used in soups and stews. The garlicy leaves can be chopped and used in salads, sauces or pesto. The seeds can also be saved and used to season food.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a four-sided elongated pod (4-5.5 cm long). It starts out green and matures to gray-brown. Inside are two rows of shiny black seeds which are released when the pod splits open mid-summer. A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, which scatter as much as several meters from the parent plant.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Description:
    In the second year of growth, plants flower in spring, producing button-like clusters of cross shaped white flowers with four petals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    In the first year of growth, plants form clumps of round to heart-shaped (10-15 cm long and 5-9 cm wide), coarsely toothed leaves. When the leaves are crushed, they smell like garlic.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy