E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Daucus carota L.
wild carrot (Queen Anne's lace)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Diane Williamson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #16815)

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Distribution of Daucus carota
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Wild carrot (a.k.a. Queen Anne's lace) is an introduced member of the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) that is native to Eurasia. It is found in North America in disturbed sites in most US states and several Canadian provinces (USDA 2010). In British Columbia, it is common in the southwestern corner of the province (SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland) and is also found in the south-central region (including Kelowna, Vernon, and adjacent areas).

Wild carrot is a relatively small biennial species (up to 1m tall) with a well-developed taproot. It is summer flowering (July through to September in BC). The inflorescence is white (sometimes yellowish) and is comprised of numerous compact umbels of flowers, 3-7 cm wide. A conspicuous central purple or pink flower is often present. Leaves are bipinnate and fern-like in appearance. The root of this species smells like carrot.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Coarse biennial herb from a well-developed, whitish, bitter taproot, hairy throughout to nearly glabrous; stems single, 20-120 cm tall.
Basal and stem leaves pinnately dissected with small, narrow ultimate segments, fernlike, with short stalks, the blades 5-15 cm long.
Inflorescence of numerous, compound umbels with small compact heads; flowers white or yellowish (but the central flower of the umbel commonly purple or pink); involucral bracts with paper-like edges below; segments threadlike to awl-shaped.
Egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, ribbed and armed with barbed prickles along alternate ribs; inflorescence narrower in fruit than in flower, and with outer, longer spokes arching inwards, producing a "bird's nest" effect.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland zone; common in SW BC, known from SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland, also known from Vernon; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

Wild carrot is considered an emerging invasive species by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council (2009). An emerging invasive is defined by them as: currently found in isolated, sparse populations but are rapidly expanding their range within the region. Wild carrot is the wild ancestor of the cultivated carrot (Pojar and MacKinnon 1994).


Ecological Framework for Daucus carota

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 35 791 1791
Slope Gradient (%) 3 15 41
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 252 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(2), CDF(1), ESSF(1), IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Daucus carota subsp. carota
Daucus carota subsp. sativus (Hoffm.) Arcang.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of Coastal British Columbia. Lone Pine Press, Edmonton.

General References