Wild carrot

Wild Carrot

©Frank Mayfield

Wild carrot

Scientific name: Daucus carota
Wild carrot does, indeed, smell of carrots, but the roots are not like our cultivated, dinnertime favourite. Look for this umbellifer on chalk grasslands and coasts.

Species information


Height: up to 75cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to September


Wild carrot is a widespread perennial plant of grasslands, particularly those on chalk soils, and coastlines. In bud, the dense umbels (umbrella-like) of flowers look reddish, but they soon bloom into white flowers. These flowers can be seen from June to September, eventually turning into concave, bird's-nest-like seed heads.

How to identify

The white umbels of Wild carrot are very densely packed and rounded. Its leaves are divided into narrow leaflets, and the plant is hairy.


Found throughout the UK, but scarcer in Scotland.

Did you know?

The leaves and roots of Wild carrot do, indeed, smell of carrots, but the roots don't resemble the big, orange vegetables we have at the table and cultivate in the garden.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and coastal nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.