Wild carrot, bird’s nest, bishop’s lace or Queen Anne’s lace

Herbs profile

  • Latin Name: Daucus carota
  • Daukos: griech. parsnip or carrot
  • Carota: lat. carrot
  • Family: Dolden family/Apiaceae
  • Feed type: Herbs
Wild carrot - Daucus carota

Wild carrot (Daucus carota)

The wild carrot native in Central Europe is a parent of the garden carrot. The garden carrot is probably a cross between the wild carrot, the southern European Daucus carota subsp. maximus and possibly the oriental Daucus carota subsp. afghanicus. It belongs to the umbellifer family (Apiaceae). In contrast to the garden carrot, the storage root of the wild carrot is pale.

The wild carrot is a biennial plant with a deep-rooted whitish storage root. It reaches growth heights of 20 to 120 cm. The leaves are two to four times pinnate and, like the stem, have dense bristly hairs. The umbels have many rays and are flat during flowering.

After flowering they are contracted in the shape of a bird’s nest. The flowers standing at the edge of the umbel are often covered with irregularly enlarged petals, which are supposed to increase the attractiveness for possible pollinators. In the middle of the umbel there is a blackish sterile flower, the ” german Mohrenblüte”, which is sterile due to colouring agents (anthocyanins). The umbels and individual little foals are surrounded by feathered bracts.

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Occurrence Wild Carrot

The wild carrot can be found in rather base-rich, lean and dry meadows and their margins.

Effect Wild Carrot

It is one of the parent species of the real carrot, the beet, however, is very tough and tastes hot. The herb has a moderate feed value. The flowers produce plenty of nectar and are therefore particularly attractive for flower visitors. The herb is the most important fodder plant of the caterpillar of the swallowtail.


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