My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Wild Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace

My Dirt Time You can barely make it out, so I added this other little pic on the right. This is one of my favorite plants, maybe just because it was one of the first I learned. Plus it's very easy to spot and remember. Plus as long as it has that distinctive carrot smell and the stem has little hairs, you won't confuse it with it's dangerous look-a-like.

Here is what Wildman Steve Brill says

"This is the same species as the European commercial carrot, but a different strain or race. In season from fall to early spring, the white taproot tastes and smells like carrots (unlike the similar-looking but deadly poison hemlock), but more flavorful and chewy.

Wild carrots are especially good in soups, stews, cakes, and cookies, where they maintain more texture than their domestic descendant.

This biennial (2-year plant) begins with a basal rosette: finely cut leaves spread out in a circle along the ground, arising from the taproot. The leaf stalks are fuzzy, while poison hemlock's are smooth.

It's this first-year plant that has an edible taproot.

The umbrella-like flower head consists of tiny, white flowers, often with a purple floret in the center.

The wild carrot seed head, which appears in late summer and fall, looks like a bird's nest, with characteristic forked bracts (modified leaves) underneath. You can use the wild carrot seeds in place of caraway seeds, 1 part carrot seeds for 8 parts caraway seeds."

For more good pics of wild carrot including what the first year plant looks like (It flowers the second year, not the first) go to Steve Brills' website above.

Once it flowers it will still have some of the carrot left as the root, but it will be very woody and not very tasty. It's best to be able to identify the first year growth.

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