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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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Are there lookalikes?

Yes, there are garlic mustard lookalikes, but it depends on the current form of the plant. 

In its low-growing rosette form, garlic mustard looks like these common plants:

  • fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) – look for hairy leaves and stems
  • piggy-back plant, (Tolmiea menziesii) – look for hairy leaves and stems
  • ground ivy (Glecoma hederacea) - leaves are similar, but creeps along the ground (roots on the stem nodes 

In its flowering form, garlic mustard is often confused with:

  • hairy bittercress, (Cardamine hirsuta) – look for short plants, 6 to 8-inches high, and compound or deeply-lobed leaves, flowering in March 

In its mature form with ripe seedpods, garlic mustard looks like many mustard cousins, including:

  • black mustard, (Brassica nigra) – look for longer pods with very pronounced seedbumps

fringecup and garlic mustard bittercress

 Photos:  fringecup (L) with garlic mustard rosette (R); and bittercress (L) with nipplewort (R)