Queen Anne's Lace
Daucus carotaApiaceae
Whole Plant
Whole PlantFlowerFruitLeaf
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted


  • Wild carrot, Birds-nest devils plague

The Plant:

  • An herbaceous biennial with a taproot, 1-3 feet tall.

The Leaves:

  • alternate, compound, linear or lanceolate divisions
  • rough hairs on top and bottom
  • round teeth

The Stem:

  • rough hairs
  • vertically ribbed
  • hollow

The Flowers:

  • White five-petaled flowers arranged in dense umbels up to 4 inches across. The stems of the outer flowers are shorter than those of the inner flowers.

The Fruits:

  • oblong, flattened
  • green turning to brown
  • convex
  • carpels ridged
  • some have spines with oil tubes

The Habitat:

  • waste ground, roadsides, disturbed areas
  • gardens
  • fields


  • barbed seeds are dispersed by animals, humans and wind

Key ID Features:

  • finely divided, yellow-green, carrot-like leaves
  • light whitish-green stems
  • umbrella-like clusters of tiny flowers
  • lacy appearance
  • dark central spot

Similar Species:

  • The white topped umbels of Queen Anne's Lace resemble those of the white-flowered form of Yarrow (Achilliea millefolium).
  • Mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula) has erect, flowering stems that are leafy.
  • Poison-hemlock (Conium maculatum) is also similar but has smooth, purple spotted stems that are rigid.


  • This species can compete with native plants for resources. It has an advantage in severely disturbed habitats because it grows taller and matures faster than many native plants.
  • On Nantucket, this species is found in some natural areas.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Europe, Asia

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Do not list at this time

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no

Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston