Cicely Mary Barker's Jack by the Hedge Fairy

Morning, Sir, and how-d'ye-do?
'Morning, pretty lady!"
That is Jack saluting you,
Where the lane is shady.

Don't you know him? Straight and tall-
Taller than the nettles;
Large and light his leaves; and small
Are his buds and petals.

Small and white, with petals four,
See his flowers growing!
If you never knew before,
There is Jack for knowing!



or Garlic Mustard (alliaria petiolata)


Native to Europe, North Africa, Asia and Australia, jack-by-the-hedge is a perennial herb that grows in damp hedgerows, the edge of woods, shady roadsides and gardens.  The white flowers bloom from April through June.  Collect and use fresh leaves for salads in the spring and summer.  Dry the leaves or seeds for use throughout the year.


The plant has been used in cooking and for its medicinal properties.  Boiled as a vegetable or eaten raw in a salad - not only does it have a delicious garlic flavor but is thought to strengthen the digestive system.  It is often used to flavor sauces and stews.  

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