Herb: Garlic Cress

Latin name: Peltaria alliacea

Family: Cruciferae

Edible parts of Garlic Cress:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A strong flavour, somewhat like a cross between garlic and mustard, the leaves make a reasonable flavouring for salads. The leaves are available for most of the year, even in a severe winter they remain green and lush. At this time they add an especially welcome spiciness to salads. They can become rather bitter in the summer, though, especially if the plants are in a dry sunny position. When flowering in early summer, the plants lose their leaves for a month or two - cutting down the flowering stems at this time will induce new fresh green growth. Flowers - raw. A similar flavour to the leaves, with very little bitterness, they make a very tasty addition to summer salads.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)



Habitat of the herb:

Hills and woods.

Other uses of Garlic Cress:

The plants can be used as a ground cover, somewhat slow spreading but they are effective in excluding weeds.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. The seed germinates rapidly, prick the seedlings out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, it can be done at almost any time of the year so long as the soil is kept moist. Divisions in the winter should be potted up in a greenhouse to allow themselves to establish, they can then be planted out in late spring.

Cultivation of Garlic Cress:

Hills and woods.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Peltaria alliacea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.