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  Queen-Anne's lace  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
Queen-Anne's-lace Daucus carota

Queen-Anne's-lace is also known as wild carrot. This biennial herb grows from an elongated taproot. The stems are upright, branched and hairy. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. The hairy leaves are doubly compound. Flat clusters of tiny, white flowers are produced at the stem tip. The flowers give a lace-like appearance. There is usually a single, dark purple flower or flowers in the center of the cluster. The spent flower clusters turn brown and curl, taking the shape of a bird's nest. The bracts below the flower clusters are three-forked. The fruit is a schizocarp, which is a dry structure that splits at maturity into two or more sections, each containing one seed. Queen-Anne's-lace may attain a height of two to three feet.

Queen-Anne's-lace may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in field edges and roadsides. Flowers are produced from May through October. Seeds may attach to the feathers of birds or the hair of mammals and can be transmitted when these animals move. This plant is a commercial source of carotene. The cultivated carrot is a race of this species. Queen-Anne's-lace is a native of Europe that was transported to the United States with early settlers and has spread tremendously.

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