Queen Anne's (Daucus carota) lace may have arrived in the U.S. as a seed contaminant in grain and through planting in gardens. It invades disturbed dry prairies, abandoned fields, waste places, and roadsides. Queen Anne's lace is a threat to recovering grasslands.
Warning: Avoid skin contact with the toxic sap of the plant by wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants. Queen Anne's lace also looks very similar to hemlock species that can be deadly if ingested.
Queen Anne's lace is an herbaceous plant that can grow 3-4 feet tall. In its first year, it has only low-lying leaves coming from the base of the plant (basal rosette). The second year the plant will grow a tall stalk, then flower, set seed, and die. Each plant has one or several hairy hollow stems, growing from one central stem, each with an umbrella-shaped flower cluster at the top. The plant smells like a carrot as it is the ancestor of the garden carrot.
Leaves and stem
Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, starting immediately below the flower, and increasing in size down the stem. Leaflets are arranged on both sides of a common stalk (pinnately divided).
Compound, flat-topped umbrella-shaped flowers called umbels (small umbels within a large umbel) become concave when mature. They bloom from May through October. After the flowering head dries up, it can look like a small bird's nest.
Queen Anne's lace has barbed small seeds that promote dispersal by animals and wind. Its seeds stay viable in the soil for one to two years.
The slender, woody taproot smells like a carrot.
Queen Anne's lace is often found in disturbed areas, including along roadsides, right-of-ways, abandoned fields, and forest edges. It does not do well in shaded habitats. This plant typically has a two-year life cycle. First-year plants are a clump of low-lying leaves called a basal rosette. In their second year, plants grow a tall stalk, flower, set seed, and die.
Origin and spread
Queen Anne's lace is native to Europe and Asia. It is also known as wild carrot as it is the parent of the cultivated varieties of carrots we have today. Wild carrot should not be eaten. Queen Anne's lace may have arrived in the U.S. as a seed contaminant in grain and through planting in gardens. More recently, Queen Anne's lace used to be sold in "wildflower mixes" which also spread it to new areas in the U.S. Selling Queen Anne's lace is now prohibited in Minnesota.
Refer to the Queen Anne's lace EDDMapS Distribution Map for current distribution.
Don't be fooled by these look-alikesThere are many plants in the carrot family in Minnesota, some of which are deadly poisonous.
- Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum (invasive) – 3-8 feet tall, stems have purple splotches.
- Spotted water hemlock, Cicuta maculata (native) – leaves are not as finely divided as Queen Anne's lace.
- Sweet cicely, Osmorhiza claytonii (native) – small plants less than 2 feet high, flowers in small clusters of four to seven flowers.
- Erect and spreading hedge parsley, Torilis japonica (invasive) – wild carrot has showy bracts underneath the flower umbels while hedge parsley has small bracts.
- Regulatory classification
Queen Anne's lace is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture Restricted Noxious Weed meaning it is illegal to import, sell, or transport.
- Threat to Minnesota
- It invades disturbed dry prairies, abandoned fields, waste places, and roadsides. It is a threat to recovering grasslands and can be persistent on clay soils, but it tends to decline as native grasses and herbaceous plants become established.
- What you should do
One way that invasive plant seeds and fragments can spread is in soil. Sometimes plants are planted purposefully. You can prevent the spread of invasive plants.
PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks
- REMOVE plants, animals and mud from boots, gear, pets and vehicles.
- CLEAN your gear before entering and leaving the recreation site.
- STAY on designated roads and trails.
- PLANT non-invasive species.
- Native Substitutes
- Tall meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)
- Culver's root (Veronicastrum virginicum)
- Flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata)
- Virginia mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)
- Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)
- Control methods
Mechanical control can be done by cutting, mowing, or pulling the plant before the seed is present in mid-summer.
Herbicide control can be done using 2,4-D or 2,4-D formulations with triclopyr. Apply herbicide to the seedling or rosette stages from mid-May to mid-October.
Report new occurrences by submitting a report through EDDMapS, emailing Report a Pest, calling Report a Pest (1-888-545-6684), or contacting your local county agricultural inspector.
- Identification and management of wild carrot (Queen Anne's lace) (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
- Identification and management of Minnesota Noxious Weeds (Minnesota Department of Transportation)