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Daucus carota

Daucus carota L.

Daucus carota L. ssp. carota

Daucus carota L. ssp. sativus (Hoffm.) Arcang.

Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderApialesIncludes carrots, celery, parsley, and ivy
FamilyApiaceaeCarrot or parsley family, also includes angelica, anise, caraway, celery, chervil, cicely, coriander/cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel, hemlock, lovage, Queen Anne’s Lace, parsnip
GenusDaucusAncient Greek name for this genus
SpeciescarotaFrom Greek karoton, “carrot”

About plant names...

Queen Anne’s lace, or wild carrot, is native throughout North America. The carrots we eat are a subspecies of this plant, Daucus carota subsp. sativus.

Identification: Plants are up to 3' (91 cm) tall, smelling exactly like carrots. Foliage is relatively sparse, finely divided, looking like that of yarrow or carrots. Flowers appear in dense white umbrella-shaped or flat-topped flowerheads atop long spindly-looking hairy stems. Each flowerhead is composed of dozens of tiny 5-petaled flowers. As the flowers age, the flowerheads become convex as the centers sink, eventually folding up into a ball-shaped “nest” the protects the fruits developing within.

 

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/28/2009 · Near Nashua River Boat Ramp, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½" (8.7 × 7 cm)

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

10/17/2010 · Syracuse area, NY · By Tim Chandler

Here is a comparison of some similar-appearing species:

 
Cicuta maculata

Achillea millefolium

Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’
Common Name

Water Hemlock

Common Yarrow

Yarrow
Plant 3-6' (91-182 cm) in height. Skull & Crossbones Extremely poisonous Up to 3’ tall, with leaves so finely divided as to look featherlike, with “feathers” up to 9” long 18-24” high
Flowers Small white flowers about ⅛" (3.2 mm) across occur in small separated groups, resembling little parasols. Each flower has 5 petals and 5 stamens. The “parasols” are arranged into umbrella-shaped flowerheads. Densely packed clusters of tiny white flowers, flat-topped or umbrella-shaped. (Cultivars may be yellow, red, or many other colors.) Flowers have 4-6 petals; each petal has three lobes. Red; also orange and yellow
Leaves      
Stem Stems are spotted or striped with purple.    
Seeds      
Fruit      
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8
Habitats   Meadows, fields, nearly anywhere there is full or partial sun  
Type Wild Wild Cultivar
Occurrence   Common  

 

  You are here
Daucus carota

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Heracleum maximum
Common Name

Queen Anne’s Lace

Giant Hogweed

Cow Parsnip
Plant Grows to 3’ in height. Plant smells like carrots. Extremely large: 6½-16' (2-5 m) tall, sometimes reaching 23' (7 m). Poisonous Skull & Crossbones: causes phytophotodermatitis. Up to 6½' (2 m) in height. Poisonous Skull & Crossbones: causes phytophotodermatitis.
Flowers Pale pink before opening. When open, forms an umbrella-shaped flower cluster up to 3” across, composed of tiny 5-petaled flowers. White flowers form flat-topped compound umbels (flowerheads) up to 30" (76 cm) in diameter. Large white compound umbels about 8" (20 cm) in size. Individual flowers have five petals of inconsistent size.
Leaves Compound leaves are deeply divided and subdivided. Leaves are up to 5' (1.5 m) across, extensively divided into sharp-tipped sections. Up to 16" (40 cm) across, split into sharp lobes that vaguely resemble maple leaves, with a disagreeable odor.
Stem Fine hairs on stems and leaves. Hollow stems are 1-4" (3-10 cm) in diameter, with deep purple raised blotches containing white hairs. Thick, grooved, hollow, hairy, and often reddish.
Seeds   Each seed is up to ¼" (8.3 mm) long.  
Fruit     Flat, green, egg- or heart-shaped, ⅜-½" (9.5-12 mm) × ¼-⅜" (6.3-9.5 mm).
Range/ Zones

Habitats   Rich, moist soils in ditches, stream banks, vacant farmland, and fence and tree lines Moist, shady mountain woodlands, streambeds
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common    

 

Edibility: Wild carrot roots are edible when young, before they become woody, but because this plant is easily confused with the extremely poisonous spotted water hemlock, it is unsafe to consume this plant. Leaves can cause phytophotodermatitis.

Online References:

Daucus carota at the Bugwood Wiki

Daucus carota on Missouriplants.com

Daucus carota at the Island Creek Elementary School's Study of Northern Virginia Ecology

Daucus carota at Illinois Wildflowers

Daucus carota on Wikipedia

Daucus carota on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Daucus carota at Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plants Products

Daucus carota on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Daucus carota from the Jepson Manual

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

10/2/2016 · Dunstable Rural Land Trust, Dunstable, MA

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/7/2017 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

8/4/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

The “bird’s nest.” · 8/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Daucus carota description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

9/3/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/8/2016 · Dunstable Rural Land Trust, Dunstable, MA

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/31/2016 · Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)

7/2/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA

Range:

About this map...