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Garlic mustard
Photo Credit: Nicole Kimmel, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

Common Name: Garlic Mustard

Scientific Name: Alliaria petiolata

Habitat: forests

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "prohibited noxious" in the Alberta weed regulation. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.


Garlic mustard is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced to North America in the 1960s as a medicinal and culinary herb.

Legislated Because

Garlic mustard releases chemicals into the surrounding soil which can inhibit the optimal growth of native plants. It out-competes native understory species in forests which can lead to an overall loss of biodiversity.


Each of the white flowers has four petals and is 5-10 mm wide.

The young leaves are dark in colour and range from heart to kidney-shaped. Mature leaves are characteristically heart-shaped, have toothed edges and are alternately arranged along the stem.

As the species name suggests, the leaves omit a garlicky odour when crushed.

This plant grows in moist woody areas and can reach up to 1.5 m tall.

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheet - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Management


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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