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DAUCUS carota

Image of Daucus carota

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

DAUCUS carota

Plant Common Name

Carrot, Garden Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace

General Description

In the wild it may be called Queen Anne's lace or wild carrot, but as a cultivated plant Daucus carota is simply referred to as the garden carrot.

The cultivated carrot is a hardy, herbaceous, biennial of European and Asian origin. It is grown for its crisp, sweet, tasty tap roots. Often called Daucus carota ssp. sativus, it is a biennial but rarely gets the chance to flower because its roots are harvested in the first season. If allowed to flower, it has large, pretty, lacy, white umbrella-shaped blooms that appear in summer.

Eastern and western cultures have cultivated carrot roots for thousands of years. There are many cultivars, old and new, which may produce orange, orange-red, purple, yellow or white carrots. These most often appear as long, tapered taproots but short, round-rooted selections, like the popular 'Thumbelina' are also available.

Carrots grow best if cultivated in deep, rich, friable loamy soil and full sun. They are easy to grow if given the right growing conditions and can be stored for long periods of time. Generally, they require 50 to 75 days to harvest.

The wild form, Queen Anne's lace, was introduced from Europe into Colonial America very early on and has become a common weed along roadsides, in fields and fallow areas. This unrefined counterpart to the cultivated carrot develops a neat rosette of fine, dissected, medium green leaves in the first year. In the second, it puts forth tall, airy stems topped with lacy white, umbel-shaped flowers. These appear in summer and attract many insect pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and are ideal for cutting.

Queen Anne's lace prefers sunny locations and almost any type of soil as long as it is well-drained. Though tough and resilient, it is susceptible to carrot rust fly, wireworms and aphids. This weedy wildflower is pretty despite the fact it vigorously self sows. It may be planted in mixed borders and butterfly gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes