Wild Carrot

Daucus carota

Common Name: Wild Carrot
Scientific Name: Daucus carota
Family: Umbelliferae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe
Alien Range: North America
Introduction: Wild carrot seeds were transported to North America as stowaways in sacks of grain brought over by the first settlers. Reproduction is by seed. 
Description: ·Leaves: Mostly grow from basal rosette, with a few alternate, smaller leaves on stem. Smooth upper surface. Short hair on veins of lower surface and leaf margins. Twice pinnately compound. Can be up to 15 cm (6 in.) long.

·Flowers: Present from July to September. Small, white, lacy; form inverted umbrella. Single deep purple flower often in center of cluster. Cluster is 5-10 cm (2-4 in.) in diameter.

·Fruit: Schizocarp. Yellow or light brown.  Two sections, each 2-3 mm long (0.1 in.)  2 seeds per fruit.
Threats: Wild carrot plants produce massive amounts of seed.  One plant can produce up to 4,000.  It is impossible to eradicate, spreads rapidly, and can be a pernicious weed.
Fun Facts: In mice, wild carrot blocks progesterone production and inhibits fetal and ovarian growth.  In some rural areas of the United States it is used as a morning-after contraceptive.

(c) Dan L. Perlaman