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Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

Other Names:

Wild Carrot

Range:

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

A biennial herbaceous plant. The first year plant consists of leaves arranged in a basal rosette pattern. The recognizable umbel flower-head is not produced until the second year.

 

Height:

Up to 3 feet high; perhaps taller under optimum growing conditions.

Leaves:

First years leaves appear in a rosette of 5 - 9 lacey fern-like multi-compound leaves. Second year plants have a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves with fine hairs on the leaves.

Stem/Trunk:

The stems are consistently green, and covered in tiny hairs. They DO NOT have the noticeable white bloom indicative of poison hemlock. They are also NOT mottled or any color other than green.

Root:

The white, thin, flexible, taproot has a strong carrot smell.

Flower:

Season:

Summer

Appearance:

White umbel-shaped flower head consisting of numerous tiny white flowers borne in a cluster.

Seed/Fruit:

N/A

Miscellaneous characteristics:

The wild carrot looks like it's cultivated counterpart the carrot. They are different strains of the same species; wild carrot is Daucus carota while the cultivated carrot is Daucus carota sativus.

 

Poison hemlock is just that, extremely poisonous. Do not use Queen Anne's Lace unless it meets all of the characteristics described in the first paragraph, and not even one of those described in the second paragraph. Failing to follow this direction could very well have deadly consequences. Socrates used a tea made from poison hemlock to commit suicide. There is also a modern day society which advocates assisted suicide which calls itself the Hemlock Society.

 

I wrestled with whether or not I would include Daucus carota in this website. I finally decided that it's common widespread appearance necessitated it's inclusion. Once you take the time to recognize the characteristics of Queen Anne's Lace, you will not mistake anything else for it.

Habitat:

Open areas, roadsides, fields, waste areas, forest edges

Parts Used:

Root, Stem, Leaves of first year plant

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

The young stems can be peeled and eaten raw, or used as a cooked vegetable. They have a very pleasant carrot flavor. The leaves and stems of the first year plant have a very nice flavor and can be eaten in salads, or as a cooked vegetable. The taproots of the first year, or early second year plant may be used in any manner you might a cultivated carrot. I have added the root to salads, soups, and stir fries. It is one of my favorite wild vegetables.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

None Known

Medicinal Actions:

None Known

First year basal rosette. The entire plant is excellent to eat at this stage.

Note the white hairs on the green stem.

Poison Hemlock, a look alike, has smooth stems, and purple blotches or spots.

Look below for information concerning the poisonous look alikes Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock.

The following Pictures are of Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock

Water Hemlock (Cicuta virosa)

 

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

 

This photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Revised: 05/20/14 Living Afield

 

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