Garlic Mustard, Jack-By-The-Hedge

Alliaria petiolata

Alliaria petiolata


Garlic Mustard belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is not related to Garlic but to Mustard and also to Horseradish.

Alliaria petiolata grows either biennially or perennially and can reach a height of up to one meter. In Central Europe, the flowering period lasts from April to July.


Alliaria petiolata is native to the most parts of Europe (Northern Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe). Its area of distribution reaches as far as Africa (Northern Africa) and Asia (Caucasus, Western Asia, Middle Asia, Eastern Asia, tropical Asia).

In North America, it is considered to be an invasive plant.

Garlic Mustard in a meadow
Garlic Mustard in a meadow.

Alliaria petiolata grows along roadsides, in meadows, woods, along hedges, in parks and gardens.

It can also survive on nutrient-poor sites, but remains smaller there than in humus-rich soil.


Young leaves and shoots can be used raw as a culinary herb. They can also be prepared like spinach, but lose some of their flavour when cooked.

Garlic Mustard leaves


Garlic Mustard can pollinate by itself, but is often visited by flies, bees and beetles.

Valgus hemipterus on Garlic Mustard
Valgus hemipterus on Garlic Mustard.

Common names


Alliaire Officinale, Herbe à Ail

Knoblauchsrauke, Gemeines Lauchkraut, Knoblauchskraut

Alliaria comune


Aliaria, hierba del ajo

Garlic Mustard by the wayside
Garlic Mustard by the wayside.
Garlic Mustard on an embankment
Garlic Mustard on an embankment.
Jack By The Hedge in December
Jack-By-The-Hedge in early December.

Jack By The Hedge in the snow

Garlic Mustard between bushes
Garlic Mustard between bushes.

Alliaria petiolata

Categories: Herbs | White flowers | Wildflowers |

More species from the Brassicaceae / cabbage family