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Daucus carota - L.

Common Name Wild Carrot, Queen anne's lace, Carrot, Wild Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Carrots sometimes cause allergic reactions in some people[46]. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people[218]. Daucus has been reported to contain acetone, asarone, choline, ethanol, formic acid, HCN, isobutyric acid, limonene, malic acid, maltose, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, pyrrolidine, and quinic acid. Reviewing research on myristicin, which occurs in nutmeg, mace, black pepper, carrot seed, celery seed, and parsley, Buchanan (J. Food Safety 1: 275, 1979) noted that the psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties of mace, nutmeg, and purified myristicin have been studied. It has been hypothesized that myristicin and elemicin can be readily modified in the body to amphetamines. Handling carrot foliage, especially wet foliage, can cause irritation and vesication. Sensitized photosensitive persons may get an exact reproduction of the leaf on the skin by placing the leaf on the skin for awhile, followed by exposure to sunshine[269].
Habitats Cultivated and waste land, amongst grass, especially by the sea and on chalk[4, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa, China and eastern India.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Daucus carota Wild Carrot, Queen anne

Daucus carota Wild Carrot, Queen anne


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Bloom Color: Purple, White. Main Bloom Time: Late summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Daucus carota is a BIENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



 Meadow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Root
Edible Uses: Coffee  Condiment

Root - cooked[55]. Thin and stringy[K]. The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet's delight[183]. The aromatic seed is used as a flavouring in stews etc[55, 183]. The dried roasted roots are ground into a powder and are used for making coffee[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anthelmintic  Carminative  Contraceptive  Deobstruent  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  Galactogogue  Ophthalmic  
Stimulant  Urinary

The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus[238]. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys[254]. The whole plant is anthelmintic, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, galactogogue, ophthalmic, stimulant[4, 7, 9, 13, 21, 165]. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy[4, 238]. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed[254]. Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones[254]. The plant is harvested in July and dried for later use. A warm water infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes[213]. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms[213, 222, 254]. The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation[213]. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women[213]. A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones[222]. The seeds are diuretic[213, 218], carminative, emmenagogue and anthelmintic[4, 218]. An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems[238]. The seed is a traditional 'morning after' contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation[222]. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women[254].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Essential

An essential oil obtained from the seed has an orris-like scent[238]. It is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring[46, 238]. The oil has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams[238].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Seashore. Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil[24, 238]. A good plant for the summer meadow[24], it is a food plant for caterpillars of the Swallow-tail Butterfly[200]. This species is the parent of the cultivated carrot[200]. It can act as an alternative host for pests and diseases of the cultivated carrots. The plant has become a pest weed in N. America, where it is spreading rapidly and crowding out native vegetation[274]. The whole plant, when bruised, gives off an aniseed-like scent[245]. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is fleshy. Thick or swollen - fibrous or tap root [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - sow August/September or April in situ. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Carrot, bird's nest; bishop's lace; Queen Anne's lace; wild carrot. Spanish: zanahoria. French: carotte. Arabic: gazar. Portuguese: cenoura-brava. Germany: Karotten; Mohren. Italy: carota selvatica. Japan: noraninjin. Netherlands: wilde peen. Sweden: vild morot. Also Divlja mrkva, Frustinaca agreste, Mrkvica.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Balkans, Brazil, Britain, Bosnia, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, East Africa, Ethiopia, Europe, Indochina, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Nigeria, North America, Norway, SE Asia, South America, Spain, Tasmania, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Wild carrot, the progenitor of the cultivated carrot, is a biennial weed native to Europe, southwestern Asia and North Africa. Being a prolific seed producer, it can spread rapidly, and in its introduced range in North America and Australia it invades open grasslands, meadows, roadsides, abandoned fields, waste areas and degraded prairies, competing with and displacing native plants [1d]. A noxious weed in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Washington, USA.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Data Deficient

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Daucus carota sativusCarrotBiennial1.2 4-10  LMHNM534
Daucus pusillusRattlesnake Weed, American wild carrotBiennial0.6 4-8  LMHNM22 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Readers comment

   Thu May 4 2006

Botanical Search fro plants and get icformation

Christina   Fri Mar 9 2007

I use the wild carrot seed to prevent conception; however I also make sure that I practice cycle monitoring and "coitus interruptus" (pulling out) and have not had to try it for "emergency" use. It has worked for 2 years so far, since I began using it. I gathered the seeds in late august from a pasture in upstate NY. To prepare, I grind 2 or 3 pinches of seed with a mortar and pestle and pour hot water over for a tea. I then swallow the seeds on the bottom with the addition of more water. I take it for 1-3 days following sex. Internet sources advise dosing over a longer time period than this, though. I am not an herbalist or scientist, but I know from my own experience that it has been working for me.

Sister Zeus Fertility awareness, herbal abortion and herbal contraception

Nicole   Wed Apr 16 2008

there are many ways to use Daucus Carota. I'm doing a report on it right now. Most of the uses i have read about are for different parts of the body. Some of the uses are rather disgusting, though.

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