Alliaria petiolata - Jack-by-the-Hedge, or Garlic Mustard (Brassicaceae)

Garlic Mustard, or Jack-by-the-hedgeAlso known as Garlic Mustard, this biennial spring wildflower smells remarkably like garlic when the stems are crushed. The leaves are bright green in early spring, darkening as the year advances.

Appropriately named, this is a plant of hedgerows, but in shaded places you will also find it lining riverbanks. The best of the flowers appear in April and early May, but you can occasionally find a few blooms right through until August.

Jack-by-the-Hedge is edible and, if collected when young, the leaves make an excellent addition to salads, sauces and other dishes.