Queen Anne's Lace

(Daucus carota)

Other Names:
Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace


Apiaceae – Carrot, Celery, or Parsley family

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Flower Season:
Summer of the 2nd year

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


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.

Water Hemlock and Poison hemlock are just that, extremely poisonous look-alikes. Do not use Queen Anne's Lace unless it meets all of the characteristics described on this page, and not even one of those shown in the pictures outlined in red below. 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 should 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. Think of it like lettuce and cabbage. They both grow in head's, and are green. Once you become familiar with the characteristics of Queen Anne's Lace you would no more mistake it for poison hemlock than you would mistake lettuce for cabbage.

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

Parts Used:
Root, Stem, Leaves of first year plant

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:
Wild Carrot, or Queen Anne's Lace, has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. An infusion is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, (as it soothes the digestive tract), kidney and bladder diseases, and swelling and edema. It supports proper function of the liver, and kidneys. An infusion of Wild Carrot leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The seeds can be used as a settling carminative agent for the relief of flatulence and colic.

Wild Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones, and stimulates the uterus. The plant is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and so SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PREGNANT WOMEN. The seed is a traditional ’morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. An essential oil obtained from the seed has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams. A strong decoction of the seeds and root make a very good insecticide.

Ongoing studies are proving this to be a very valuable plant, useful in many areas of alternative medicine, a few are Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Infertility, Asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, Diabetes, Leukemia, HIV, Spina-bifida, Migraine headache, obesity, and much more, even the common cold.

Medicinal Actions:
Anthelmintic, Antihydropic, Antilithic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Deobstruent, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Galactagogue, Hepatic, Stimulant

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Water Hemlock (Cicuta virosa)
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Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
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