Wild Carrot, BC Coastal Region
The wild carrot is also known as Queens Anne Lace and it is the ancestor of the cultivated carrot. It is known on the coast as the wild carrot, it is not generally considered edible.
The plant is native to Europe and Asia, but has become well established along roadsides, clearings and waste areas throughout much of the pacific northwest.
Each flower is actually a cluster of tiny flowers that together resemble a circle of white lace. Often a single darker flower grows like a dot in the center. Flower clusters are up to 7.5 cm across. The leaves are quite lacy as well. Older flowers curl up to resemble birds’ nests surrounded by three pronged bracts. Stems grow up to 1 meter high.
The plant can be mistaken for the deadly poison hemlock, so care should be taken to positively identify the wild carrot before handling it.
This plant is beautiful in the wild, but can be a real problem in gardens and cultivated fields. It has spread across southern Canada, all of Vancouver Island and the United States since its introduction in colonial times. In the wild it is a beautiful wildflower, but it is invasive.
Tea made from the root of this plant has been used as diuretic to prevent and eliminate kidney stones, and to rid individuals of worms. Its seeds have been used for centuries as a contraceptive, a teaspoon of seeds are thoroughly chewed, swallowed and washed down with water or juice starting just before ovulation, during ovulation, and for one week thereafter. The seeds have also been used as a remedy for hangovers, and the leaves and seeds are both used to settle the gastrointestinal system.
Grated wild carrot can be used for healing external wounds and internal ulcers. The thick sap is used as a remedy for cough and congestion.