Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wild Carrot

This flower has been really aggravating to me this year. It’s Wild Carrot, Daucus carota. Many people know it as Queen Anne’s Lace and it’s a common roadside plant. Wild Carrot came to us from England and it will colonize just about any open field. Because it’s a non-native, I prefer it not to be growing at Blue Jay Barrens. I know it’s here, but the weather conditions this year have allowed it to flourish and it is really showing off its presence.

I came around the corner of the trail to find Wild Carrot growing in this nice little prairie opening. I hadn’t seen it at this site before.

It’s just a small infestation, but I’m sure it will spread if given the chance. I waded in to pull the offending plants.

Fortunately, my assessment as to the number of plants was accurate. I’ve had occasions in the past where I began to pull what I thought were only a couple of plants, only to discover that every time I bent to pull one plant, I’d see two more just a few feet away.

It only took a minute to get this area looking the way I thought it should. One of my rules is to take a few seconds and look at the results of my work. When I finally resumed my walk, I went back up the trail a short way so I could round the corner again and see the view I expected the first time. Some people say that’s silly behavior, but I think a person by himself in the middle of his own property can be silly if he want to be.

Unfortunately, I had the image of Wild Carrot basal leaves nagging at the back of my mind. Wild Carrot is a biennial plant that grows a tap root and basal leaves the first year and sends up a flower stalk before dieing in year two. The presence of basal leaves means that I’ll be pulling more Wild Carrot from this site next year.

Of course there are other sites that have already developed an extensive stand of Wild Carrot. I’ve done some trials to see how effective pulling is in reducing the number of Wild Carrots in the stand and found that it works very well. Two years of pulling greatly reduces the number of flowering plants. It’s possible to reduce the numbers enough to make them almost unnoticable. I just have to find some time that I can devote to that task.


  1. It's everywhere, isn't it. It's all along the highways and hiking trails. I'm afraid it's here to stay.

  2. Wild carrot stew
    4 cups of wild carrots chopped
    3 vegetable bouillon cubes (for 3 cups of water)
    2 tbs. arrowroot or kudzu powder
    1/2 cup dried onions
    4 cloves of garlic chopped at home or in the field (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
    2 tbs. olive oil
    2 tbs. lemon
    2 tsp. dried parsley
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    Nothing quite like eating your enemy to offset the aggravation ;)

  3. Removing invasive plants can be pretty tough. Better wait till the temperature goes down!

  4. PS Steve could you do me a favor and look at the native wild geranium i posted/found today and tell me what you think. looks like geranium bicknelli to me..but it would be way out of the BONAP range..I found a large population in a local state park woodland margin.thanks ,Michael

  5. I’m sure you’re right, Lois. I remember running through fields of Queen Anne’s Lace when I was a kid. I even raised some in order to attract Black Swallowtail butterflies.

    Hi, Michael. My Wild Carrot roots are so small it would take me days to pull enough to equal 4 cups.
    I’ll check your wild geranium against my ID books and see what I come up with. I’ll let you know.

    I will, Anne. When I work bent over in really hot weather, sweat runs onto my glasses and I can’t see what I’m doing.