Family: Parsley, Apiaceae.
Habitat: Dry fields, wastelands, pastures, and no-till field crops.
Life cycle: Biennial, forming a rosette the first year and producing flowers and seed in the second.
First Year Growth Habit: A basal rosette.
Second Year Growth Habit: 1-3 feet tall, branched and erect.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, finely divided and hairy.
Flowering Stem: Tall, hairy, stout, and branched.
Flower: June – October (second year). Small, lacy white 5-petaled flowers in flat-topped, umbrella shaped clusters with one dark reddish-brown flower in the center. Flower closes up and turns brown as it matures.
Root: Fleshy taproot.
Similar plants: Leaves have the appearance and odor of a garden carrot. Wild carrots taproot is not as large as the garden carrot. The plant also resembles poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). However, wild carrot has a hairy stem while poison hemlock has a smooth stem with purple blotches. The dark floret in the center of the inflorescence in second year and a distinctive carrot smell in the first year will also help distinguish this common weed.
The problem is…. Prolific seed production and a large, fleshy taproot that is difficult to pull. Because the weed is attractive it has been allowed to spread in many areas.
Currently there are 21 weeds on the Ohio Prohibited Noxious Weed List:
- Shattercane (Sorghum bicolor) – February 8
- Russian thistle (Salsola Kali var. tenuifolia) – February 22
- Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense L. (Pers.)) May 24
- Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) – May 21
- Wild carrot (Queen Anne’s lace) (Daucus carota L.) – June 5
- Oxeye daisy (Chrysanthermum leucanthemum var. pinnatifidum) – May 3
- Wild mustard (Brassica kaber var. pinnatifida)
- Grapevines: when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed,cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years. – February 15
- Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense L. (Scop.)) – March 29
- Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) – May 31
- Cressleaf groundsel (Senecio glabellus)
- Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) – March 26
- Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) – April 17
- Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum) – March 7
- Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) – March 14
- Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes) – February 28
- Marestail (Conyza canadensis)
- Kochia (Bassia scoparia) – May 1
- Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri)
- Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) – April 11
- Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) – April 2
Each week, for the next 21 weeks, I will post information and pictures on how to identify these invasive and harmful plants.