Ohio’s Noxious Weeds

Wild carrot

Daucus carota,
wild carrot

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.

The flower of wild carrot has a reddish-brown floret in the center, which can aid in its identification.

First-year leaves of wild carrot (left) and poison hemlock (right) may appear similar.

Gallery 20.1 Wild carrot, Daucus Carota

Young plant
Entire plant


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Identifying Noxious Weeds of Ohio Copyright © by Bruce Ackley & Alyssa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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