Other Names:Wild Carrot.
Summary:A perennial vegetable with a large, swollen, orange taproot and long slender stems carrying umbrellas of many white flowers with a central purple flower in summer. The fruits have short spines and the leaves are once or twice divided into narrow segments. Wild specimens tend to be more hairy than the cultivated varieties.
First leaves:First leaf has a 30 mm long petiole with 3 main lobes, about 10 mm diameter, that are divided into 3 more lobes and these have 1-3 segments.
Leaves:Forms a rosette. Alternate. Carrot like smell when crushed.
Stems:Erect, stout, 200-2000 mm tall, branched, hollow, vertical ribs. Sparsely hairy.
Flower head:Large compound, flat topped umbel, 40-80 mm wide with 30-60 thin, rigid branches that are bent inwards at maturity. Clusters of 15-25 flowers at the ends of branches. Bracts subtending branches are many lobed and those subtending branchlets are single or the outer ones are 3 lobed.
Flowers:White or pink. Small in flat topped clusters 60-150 mm wide.
Fruit:Two segmented. Egg shaped, slightly flattened on the back, 3-4 mm long with prickles on the secondary ribs. Prickles at the very top are barbed and the rest are simple. Fruitlets 7 ribbed. 3 primary ribs on the back are hard to see and have spreading bristles. 4 secondary ribs are obvious, each with a single row of long prickles. 6 vittas.
Seeds:Held within the fruit. Flat along the seam. Carpophore persistent and 2 lobed.
Roots:Taproot. Fleshy, orange rootstock with fine feeder roots.
Key Characters:Stout biennial.
Physiology:Optimum temperature is 15-180
Flowering times:November to April in SA.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Allelopathy:Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Origin and History:Eurasia and Northern Africa.
Distribution:ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Soil:Prefers well drained sandy or loamy friable soils with a pH of 5.5-6.5.
Detrimental:Weed of roadsides and disturbed areas.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Management and Control:Thresholds:
Related plants:Australian Carrot (Daucus glochidiatus)
Plants of similar appearance:Bishop's Weed or Queen Anne's Lace (Ammi majus) doesn't have the single purple flower in the middle of the umbel, has spineless fruit and is hairless.
References:Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P659. Diagram.