Looks like a huge carrot top. What is this?

Rapid City, SD(Zone 4b)

Last year I found this plant in my veggie garden as a little seedling along with what turned out to be Larkspur. When I found them, I said to myself, "This looks like something." Which meant I thought maybe they were not weeds. So, I moved them to the front, and last year this one got lost as a little plant underneath a bunch of others, and I didn't even think it survived. Fast forward to THIS year, and it's huge! This isn't a very good photo because of the sun, but the top looks kind of like a big carrot. It's probably a weed. It's sure interesting.

Thumbnail by tweetsosweet
Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

Looks a bit like Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)

Pekin, IL

Looks Like Poison Hemlock

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I don't believe it to be Queen Anne's Lace.

I hope someone comes along who knows for sure...


Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

Maybe take a picture when the plant isn't in full sun? It's difficult to see details when the picture is so bleached out.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

I think Turner may be right. Need better pics. If so, I have many. I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder as to whether it is a weed or not. It does seed around a lot in my meadow and woods. I wouldn't be without at least one for the sake of biodiversity.
It is believed that Socrates killed himself with this.


Somerville, MA

meadowyck, why do you not think that it is queen anne's lace? it looks like queen anne's lace to me.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I grew a lot of QAL up north and it didn't look like that. It does remind me of a weed though... I'll look at somee more pic tonight when I get home from work and see if I can figure out what it is.

Can't believe other more knowledgeable folks haven't already id this.


Columbus, OH

I agree with Conium maculata--the larger stature of the plant, smooth stems, and spots on the stems make it look more like hemlock than QAL.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

It looks like no QAL I've ever seen. And believe me...I've seen millions of 'em. I don't think I've ever lived a year without seeing QAL everywhere. I'm constantly pulling them because a neighbor has them in his field and seeds travel across the fence to my side.

Gladstone, OR

Just from looking at the basal leaves on the plant in your pic (lower right - just above the date) it is evident to me that it is Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum). Check the two following web pages for pics of foliage (as a comparison to Queen Anne's Lace).

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
leaves > http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/poison_hemlock.htm

Queen Anne's Lace / Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)
leaves > http://ecolibrary.org/page/DP230

The stout (and probably hollow) main stem of your plant also has the appearance of Poison Hemlock. Compare your pic with the web page below for very good pics of leaves, stem, etc. for Queen Anne's Lace:

Queen Anne's Lace / Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)

Somerville, MA

so is the plant in this pic poison hemlock? it was growing in my garden last year. i pulled it this year when it began growing back. i thought it was queen anne's lace so i put it my compost pile. i probably should have thrown it out.

Thumbnail by Jo_T
Columbus, OH

Yep, it's pretty weedy. I admit to kinda sorta liking it, so I let a few grow in a semi-controlled way.

Gladstone, OR

Wild carrot / Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
[overall view of foliage at a distance]

Image of Daucua carota
[scroll down to close-up of foliage - the 5th image shown. Note how finely divided the foliage appears.]

Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock)
[image on the left (Fig. 5.1.1) - Note how the leaflets appear distinctly different, much more "filled in" than in the above example of Daucua carota.]

See also this recent thread :

My conclusion is that all 3 plants are images of Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock):
toni5735 (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1185628/) May 29, 2011
tweetsosweet (original post with this thread, June 7, 2011)
Jo_T (reply to this thread, June 9, 2011)

Unless the plants in question can be examined physically by a person who is very familiar with (and confident about the identity) of both [Queen Anne's Lace & Poison Hemlock] then it is better to err on the side of caution and call it "Poison Hemlock" than to make a doubtful mistake. I am also doubtful about some images that I have seen on the web that are represented as Queen Anne's Lace (put up by various photographers of dubious authority) - which in fact I believe to be images of Poison Hemlock - so it is very important also to choose your reference material carefully (from a trusted authority).

Please see also recent thread this forum:


This message was edited Jun 11, 2011 6:29 PM

Freeport, IL(Zone 4b)

I just also found a plant like this under a pine tree today. I thought it was something out of place too and potted it. It had been run over with the mower a couple times so the center is regrowing. The long leaves you see were quite flat to the ground so the mower didn't cut them. I picked off some of the older damaged leaves. I dug it up and got most of the root. The root looked carrotlike but a tannish color, it is small - young, the root was like a pencil in diamater, like a small dandelion root. The leaves are what have me perplexed. They look more like the poison hemlock than Queen Anne's lace. However, the stems have hairs on them. I read in the links above that hemlock stems are hairless and have purple spots on them. Maybe this young the spots wouldn't be there, but this plant definitely has hairs on the stems. I also found a picture of a Moon Carrot, and the leaves look almost exactly like that, except they are not silverish, they are a very bright green. The leaves have no aroma that I can detect, even when damaged, The root did have a distinctive aroma, but it was not unpleasant. It reminded me almost of a mild ginger smell. The stems have a deep groove along their upper side.

If this is a type of poison hemlock I want to know so I can dispose of it and look for more. I hope it is something else, as I would like to let it grow and see what it becomes. Besides, I "bit" a leaf before thinking it could be anything bad, because I thought it was a parsley-like herb at first and was trying to confirm that. I didn't consume any of it of course. I am not dead yet (Its been 4 hours so I hope that means I am in the clear). Any ideas as to what this is? I live in Northern Illinois.

Thumbnail by Krontalb Thumbnail by Krontalb Thumbnail by Krontalb

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