Daucus Carota

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)

Botanical description: Wild carrot or Queen Anne’s lace needs little introduction as one of the most loved plants of the urban flora, long since naturalized in North America from its European roots. It draws no distinction between urban and rural conditions, growing wherever soil disturbance allows. Daucus carota is a biennial flourishing in a range of habitats, but can often be seen along roads, unmown areas, and small openings in pavement. Plants can grow to a height of two to four feet, with creamy white flowers clustered in a flat, compound umbel often with a solitary flower of dark purple in the center. Queen Anne’s lace is a prolific bloomer, flowering from June into autumn. As seeds mature the flower stalks bend inward, forming a concave ‘bird’s nest.’ The wild carrot is the progenitor of the cultivated carrot, which can be seen in the flower and taproot—while lacking in the sweet flavor. Daucus carota also provides food and habitat to a wide variety of wildlife. Flowers provide nectar and pollen to pollinators and many insects and caterpillars feed on the stem, foliage and sugary tap root of the plant. Large birds, mice, rabbits and deer are also known to browse on the plant in all of its life forms. Seeds of wild carrot have been used throughout human history as a means to reduce female fertility.

Indexed

40

Place of Origin

Eurasia and North America