Garlic Mustard – Edible Wild Flower

Alliaria petiolata, Jack-by-the-hedge, Jack-in-the-bush, Hedge Garlic, hedge-weed, fairy-weed, fairy-mint, Garlic Root, Sauce-alone, Penny-hedge, and Poor Man’s Mustard

Wild Garlic Mustard is a magical fairy-like green plant that grows in spring-time woodlands. It has a single stalk with roundish leaves, and small white flowers at the top. They grow like mugwort so you can easily pull them for weeding or harvest. Garlic Mustard can grow over 3 feet tall. People call it “invasive” because it came over from England in the 1800’s, and it is fairly aggressive in spreading its seed; however it is a very lovely plant that is more useful than most other unwanted plants that people bitch about, so I say to people “chill the fuck out, they are short-lived, pretty, flowering, and edible”. Garlic Mustard leaves can be used as the main ingredient in pesto, its roots can be substituted for horseradish, and its black seeds served as a condiment.

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One Response to “Garlic Mustard – Edible Wild Flower”

  1. Michelle Says:

    This is an older post, but as it still appears on the internet in searches I think it should be clarified that Garlic Mustard is not a plant that anyone should ever attempt to propagate, despite how delicious it is. People “bitch” about it because it takes over entire forests and leads to extreme mono-culture situations; where there was once a rich and diverse ecosystem, there is now only garlic mustard. It is a powerful invasive because it excretes chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of nearby shrubs and trees, effectively killing everything around it and taking over within a matter of years. This happens fast, and it is incredibly difficult to get rid of once established. If anyone has the power to remove this post so as to prevent confusion and potential spread of this very harmful plant, please do so. Otherwise I would suggest that readers decide for themselves and take a look at the immense literature on garlic mustard. There is nothing wrong with harvesting some if you find it, but be aware that Noxious Weed professionals may be using pesticides in your area to eradicate the plant. It makes a delicious salad! Just never, never, never, plant more garlic mustard. It is called invasive for very good reason. http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/garlic-mustard.aspx

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