Daucus carota (Wild Carrot)
Species: D. carota
Binomial name: Daucus carota
Common names: Wild carrot, Queen Anne's Lace, Bird's nest, Bishop's lace, Pink Queen Anne’s Lace
Daucus carota is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe, southwest Asia. In New Zealand, it is found on roadsides and waste places. The domesticated carrots are cultivars of a subspecies, Daucus carota subsp. sativus. Daucus carota is a variable biennial plant, usually growing up to 1 m tall.
The umbels are claret-coloured or pale pink before they open, then bright white and rounded when in full flower, measuring 3–7 cm wide with a festoon of bracts beneath.
A solitary purple flower often occurs in the centre of the umbel. After flowering they turn to seed and contract and become concave like a bird's nest. The dried umbels can detach from the plant, becoming tumbleweeds. The fruit is egg-shaped with seven ribs and hooked spines which will attach to animal hair.
Daucus carota is very similar in appearance to the deadly poison hemlock but Daucus carota is distinguished by a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves, fine hairs on its stems and leaves and a root which is a slightly thickened taproot that smells like carrots.
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