Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata (Bieb) Cavara & Grande
Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
Life cycle: Biennial
Native status: Introduced
General description: First year plants are a rosette of 3 to 4 round, scallop edged leaves. In second year the plant reaches height of 2 to 3 feet. Leaves on bolting stems are triangular with large teeth. Flowers are white and seed capsules are 1 to 2.5 in long.
Key ID traits: Garlicky odor of crushed leaves; deep veins on coarsely teethed leaves.
Similar species: The leaves of rosettes resemble ground ivy in shape, but are larger and develop from a rosette whereas ground ivy has opposite leaves on creeping stems (stolons).
Miscellaneous: Introduced to North America in the 1860s as a culinary herb. Now a significant problem in woodlands of eastern United States. It has been spreading throughout Iowa since the 1980s