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Alliaria - (M.Bieb.)Cavara.&Grande.

Common Name Garlic Mustard
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 6-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp hedgerows, edges of woods and other shady places, preferring basic soils[7, 13, 17, 244].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, south to N. Africa and east to W. Asia and the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Alliaria Garlic Mustard


(c) ken Fern, Plants For A Future 2010
Alliaria Garlic Mustard

 

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Summary

Common Names: English: garlic-root; garlicwort; hedge-garlic; Jack-by-the-hedge; Jack-in-the-bush; mustard-root; poor-man's-mustard; sauce-alone. Spanish: Ajo mostaza; Hierba del ajo. French: Alliaire officinale. Portuguese: erva-alheira. Germany: Gemeine Knoblauchsrauke. Italy: Alliaria; Erba alliaria. Netherlands: Look-zonder-look. Sweden: Loektrav.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Alliaria is a BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to June, and the seeds ripen from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

A. officinalis. Erysimum alliaria. Sisymbrium alliaria.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Young leaves - raw or cooked as a potherb or as a flavouring in cooked foods[4, 5, 9, 12, 62, 115, 244]. A mild garlic and mustard flavour, the leaves are also believed to strengthen the digestive system[244]. They can be finely chopped and added to salads[7, 183]. The leaves are available very early in the year and provide a very acceptable flavouring for salads in the winter[K]. Flowers and young seed pods - raw[62]. A mild, garlic-like flavour[K].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Garlic mustard has been little used in herbal medicine[268]. The leaves and stems are antiasthmatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, vermifuge and vulnerary[4, 7]. The leaves have been taken internally to promote sweating and to treat bronchitis, asthma and eczema[4]. Externally, they have been used as an antiseptic poultice on ulcers etc[4], and are effective in relieving the itching caused by bites and stings[244]. The leaves and stems are harvested before the plant comes into flower and they can be dried for later use[238]. The roots are chopped up small and then heated in oil to make an ointment to rub on the chest in order to bring relief from bronchitis[245]. The juice of the plant has an inhibitory effect on Bacillus pyocyaneum and on gram-negative bacteria of the typhoid-paratyphoid-enteritis group[240]. The seeds have been used as a snuff to excite sneezing[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant[7].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a damp rich alluvial soil[7, 53]. Succeeds in damp shady places where few other herbs will grow[238]. A good woodland edge plant, it also grows well in the bottom of hedgerows[24] and will self-sow freely in suitable conditions[238]. On a calm day the plant emits a strong smell of garlic. This is especially pronounced if the leaves are bruised[245]. This species is an important food source for the orange-tip butterfly[238]. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed - sow outdoors in situ either in spring or autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

An invasive species in much of North America. Listed as a noxious or restricted plant in the US states of Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Alliaria petiolataGarlic MustardBiennial1.0 6-8  LMHFSMWe321

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

(M.Bieb.)Cavara.&Grande.

Botanical References

17

Links / References

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