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Published In: Bulletino dell'Orto Botanico della Regia Università de Napoli 3: 418. 1913. (Bull. Orto Bot. Regia Univ. Napoli) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande (garlic mustard)

A. officinalis Andrz.

Pl. 311 i, j; Map 1309

Plants biennial, terrestrial, glabrous or with sparse, unbranched, nonglandular hairs, with the odor of garlic when fresh plants are crushed or bruised. Stems 30–120 cm long, erect or ascending, unbranched or branched from the base. Leaves alternate and basal, 3–12 cm long, the uppermost sessile, the lower ones with progressively longer petioles, the bases not clasping the stem. Leaf blades triangular to broadly ovate, less commonly kidney-shaped, the margins shallowly to coarsely toothed and wavy. Inflorescences racemes, sometimes few-branched panicles with racemose branches, without bracts. Sepals (2–)3–4 mm long, ascending, oblong-elliptic, shed soon after the flower opens. Petals 4–7(–9) mm long, unlobed, white. Styles 1–2(–3) mm long. Fruits spreading, straight or nearly so, (2–)3–7(–8) cm long, more than 10 times as long as wide, linear, somewhat 4-angled in cross-section, not beaked, dehiscing longitudinally, each valve with a midnerve and 2 lateral, longitudinal nerves. Seeds in 1 row in each locule, 2.0–4.5 mm long, oblong or narrowly elliptic, the margins not winged, the surface with a pattern of longitudinal ribs, black. 2n=42. May–June.

Introduced, scattered in the state, mostly in urban areas and in the Big Rivers Division (native of Europe and Asia, widely naturalized in the U.S. and southern Canada). Bottomland and mesic upland forests in valleys and floodplains of creeks and rivers, often in soils derived from calcareous substrates; also in disturbed, mostly shaded sites.

This species originally escaped during the 1800s in the northeastern states, probably from gardens. In Europe, it has a long history of use as a potherb, salad green, garlic substitute, and source of fatty oils (from the seeds), and medicinally as a diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, and treatment for asthma and dropsy (Al-Shehbaz, 1988b). It is extremely invasive in moist, shaded habitats and has become a serious threat to natural plant communities in much of the eastern half of North America (Nuzzo, 1991, 1993). Cattle that graze on it produce garlic-flavored milk, and deer usually avoid browsing on it. Characteristics of the species that promote its ability to spread and become naturalized include self-compatibility of the flowers and seeds that may persist in the soil for several years. Once established, it rapidly replaces the native ground flora.

In Missouri, garlic mustard apparently was absent until recently. The earliest reports for the state were from eastern counties (Mohlenbrock, 1979; Wiese, 1979), followed quickly by reports from the western and southwestern areas (Henderson, 1980; Nightingale, 1980). The plant has become widely established in floodplains of the Missouri River and other rivers and is expected to continue its spread in the state.



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