Daucus carota (Queen Anne's Lace)

Plant Info
Also known as: Wild Carrot, Bird's Nest
Family:Apiaceae (Carrot)
Life cycle:biennial
  • Invasive - ERADICATE!
  • Noxious Weed
Habitat:part shade, sun; open fields, roadsides, waste areas, woodland edges
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:12 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: UPL MW: UPL NCNE: UPL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in flat clusters (umbels) 2 to 5 inches across, in groups (umbellets) of 20 to 30 flowers each. Individual flowers are white, have 5 petals and mostly about 1/8 inch across. The flowers on the outer edge of an umbel have petals of unequal size, with the outer petals much larger than the inner petals; the larger outer petals are sometimes notched at the tip. There is often a single flower in the center of an umbel that is dark purplish.

[photo of bracts] The bracts at the base of both umbels and umbellets are distinctive: lobed into long, narrow segments and quite showy. One plant can have numerous clusters, at the end of branching stems.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound

[photo of leaves] Leaves are compound and fern-like, to 10 inches long, 6 inches wide, long-stalked near the base of the plant, becoming smaller with much shorter stalks and more widely spaced on the upper plant. Leaflets are divided into narrow segments; the lower leaves are twice compound and look more feathery than the upper leaves.

[photo of leaf node and stem] Stems are typically hairy with fine lines. Leaves may be hairy along the veins and leaf edges.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] As a flower cluster matures it folds up, creating a structure resembling a cage, holding the fruit: a ribbed seed with stiff hairs along the ribs. Seed ripens from purplish to greenish to brown. The entire seed head can detach from the plant and be carried by the wind to a new breeding ground.


A plant blooms for most of the summer so It is not unusual to see flowers in varying stages of maturity at the same time on a single plant. There are multiple species in the carrot family with small white flowers and divided leaves, but Queen Anne's Lace is easy to distinguish by its showy bracts. When not flowering, its feathery compound leaves might be confused for other members of the carrot family, but leaves of other species are typically smaller or less finely divided. Queen Anne's Lace also prefers dry soil so isn't likely found in wetlands or wet meadows. This species is likely under-reported in Minnesota. The food crop carrot was cultivated from this species. It makes one wonder if it will become invasive some day...

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, Winona County, and in Goodhue County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Marjorie - Baxter
on: 2010-06-07 13:17:10

Does the MN Queen Anne's Lace have a purple dot(petal) in the center???

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2010-06-07 21:39:57

The Queen Anne's Lace that grows in MN is the same species that grows elsewhere in the country, and sometimes one of the tiny flowers in the center of the cluster is a dark purplish color.

Posted by: Mark - Oakdale Nature Preserve, Oakdale MN
on: 2010-07-17 10:03:58

Another noxious weed in Oakdale Nature Preserve. :-( Some really health specimens though, up to 4 ft tall, with flower clusters 5-6 inches across.

Posted by: Douglas - Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in Lac Qui Parle county
on: 2011-07-16 15:34:06

This is the first plant I,ve seen in this area. We have alot of water hemlock out here and these plants just stood out. The water hemlock is usually in wet ditches and shorelines of sloughs. These Queen Anne,s Lace were out in a dry field about 50 feet from the road on the south side of the Refuge.

Posted by: L. Ann - Cook County
on: 2014-07-16 10:40:27

It is everywhere! It is even in the ditches near my cabin, on Christine Lake, which is quite remote.

Posted by: T. R. - Dakota County
on: 2014-07-24 10:48:52

There's a large bed of it growing near 44.789964, -93.156933, near Cliff Road and Pilot Knob in Eagan.

Posted by: Linda - Eagan
on: 2015-05-29 00:53:20

It is all along Cliff Road now from Lexington to Pilot Knob Roads and has entered into Lebanon Hills Reg. Park at Holland Lake about 30 ft. Also saw it along Diffley Road betwn. Lexington and Pilot Knob last fall. It's spreading fast.

Posted by: Amy - Freeborn County, Albert Lea
on: 2015-07-02 16:05:37

this is found in the state park (along the paved paths) and in a number of open fields, ex. 9th Ave, at Wedgewood Cove Golf Course

Posted by: Nancy - Randolph
on: 2015-07-19 21:43:35

Why is this considered invasive? I love it. Really pretty.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2015-07-20 04:06:30

All plants are beautiful, but that is irrelevant where it comes to ecological or environmental impacts. Queen Anne's lace readily escapes cultivation, takes hold in natural areas, and can spread aggressively. A bad plant that does not play well with its neighbors.

Posted by: Susan
on: 2015-07-23 07:09:02

I saw this weed on 56 between Randolph and Kenyon, I think it is Queen Ann's lace

Posted by: Diane - Columbus
on: 2016-06-09 21:55:54

I don't discriminate against plants any more than I discriminate against people.

Posted by: Savanna - Mower County-Austin
on: 2017-07-12 11:45:08

Found in numerous places at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Management plans will be set in place in the future.

Posted by: Molly R - Along 169 roadside Nicollet county
on: 2017-07-29 07:05:56

I've never seen this plant here before

Posted by: Terri D - Yellow Medicine, Renville, Redwood Counties along the MN R
on: 2017-08-06 16:00:21

This invasive is just starting to touch the MN River Valley sneaking into the valley along roads and in CREP or reconstructed acres. Some patches are spreading on private land. I pulled over 1000 plants yesterday over 3 hours. Please join me in keeping this invasive at bay. It readily will infiltrate native areas and choke out native plants. Look at Blue Mounds State Park and see what it has done to areas where the western prairie fringed orchid lives. Wait until after a good rain the beginning of August and then it pulls fairly easily. thank you for joining me :)

Posted by: Terry - Sibley county
on: 2017-09-02 12:02:35

This plant is well established along the Minnesota River - both in Le Sueur and Sibley counties.

Posted by: Maria G. Swora - Saint Paul
on: 2018-06-08 05:11:17

Someone has planted a patch of these on the boulevard in front of their house. It is spreading into neighbors' spaces now.

Posted by: Marv S. - Rochester
on: 2018-06-30 16:54:32

A tough plant to pull because of the long taproot. Definitely wait until just after a rain and then it pulls pretty easily. Another scourge to deal with!

Posted by: Dee - Maple Grove
on: 2018-07-28 13:46:53

This stuff was in a can of mixed wildflowers we purchased about 15 years ago to put on a berm. It was not listed on the can, but obviously part of the 2% inert material. Beautiful yes, but totally out of hand now. I clip off the heads to keep it from going to seed on the ones I cannot pull, and pull out all I can, whenever I can, but the damage is done. I find it growing everywhere.

Posted by: Gary - Lake County and St. Louis County
on: 2019-01-29 16:35:25

Near Ely, MN and near Britt, MN between 2000 and 2002. The first was on a rough forest road. The second in an abandoned gravel pit. Very common in Michigan's UP, BTW.

Posted by: Julie Miedtke - Itasca County
on: 2020-07-13 09:46:18

Fortunate to have pulled another unwanted plant out of my flowerbed---thank you. where is all of this stuff coming from!

Posted by: Cleo - Maplewood
on: 2020-07-20 23:15:30

I wonder if I planted Queen Anne's lace in a pot and kept it contained how that would work? It is so beautiful and I would really like to grow some.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-07-21 06:31:39

Cleo, I wouldn't recommend it but if you do, you must deadhead spent flowers and prevent any seed from escaping.

Posted by: Rhyan - Lac qui Parle county
on: 2021-03-04 11:24:51

Why keep trying to plant invasive species just because we think they look pretty? Even in a pot unless you are super diligent you cannot prevent the spread of the seeds. Minnesota is home to SO MANY beautiful native species, why not represent our state and do those plants justice while also doing the pollinators a favor by providing food.

Posted by: Kelly Griffin - Monticello
on: 2021-06-28 13:26:48

I have found one of these in a natural area I'm working on cleaning out, I thought it was pretty until I read this! I think it may have been a packet of wildflowers we sprinkled last year!

Posted by: anonymous - Rochester
on: 2021-07-26 00:47:50

To those who would not 'discriminate' against any plant: By not discriminating against invasive species, you are by definition 'discriminating' against native plants that are choked out or chemically killed by the invasives. And do you really want your children to play in a field full of toxic wild parsnip because you refuse to discriminate against it? Please try to understand what you are really saying.

Posted by: Rebecca - Cannon Falls
on: 2021-08-11 16:54:50

Believe this is what I saw growing along the road in Douglas Township. It is pretty, but somehow I knew it was invasive so I should not get too attached! Botanist husband identified it.

Posted by: Cheeyl - Wi
on: 2021-08-15 19:25:45

Is it my understanding that once it goes to seed, that plant dies? So, I them assume that once it sets seeds, and I cut instead of work so hard trying to pull it out of the ground....the tap root dies and will not produce another plant next year?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2021-08-16 11:35:12

Yes, Cheeyl, that's the life cycle of biennial. The first year it produces leaves and stores energy, the second it produces flowers and fruit then dies, but the seed will generate new plants that start the cycle over.

Posted by: Kristi - Metro
on: 2022-05-12 20:45:04

Can contact with this plant cause a similar reaction as poison ivy?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2022-05-13 06:54:06

Kristi, a number of species in the carrot family can cause phototoxic dermatitis, a rash (of varying intensities) that reacts to sunlight. Wild carrot is among them, though is not as severe as wild parsnip.

Posted by: Adam - Cannon City
on: 2022-07-12 08:58:43

There is a small cluster of this in the ditch nearby. I've been pulling it as it flowers. I figure I'll work through the seed bank in the next few years.

Posted by: Christine - Northfield
on: 2022-07-26 17:55:30

Just picked this in the ditch on Dresden Ave.. I thought the unflowering pods were so interesting for a flower arrangement. Now that I know what it is, I will dispose of them more carefully.

Posted by: Janet Van Sloun - Green Circle Park, Minnetonka
on: 2023-07-19 17:40:20

Yes, as described, this plant likes dry soil. During the past couple years of summer drought a small patch along a paved trail expanded exponentially to multiple locations and a few hundred feet, all along the dry trail edges. More pulling-volunteers would be nice, because there are oh-so-many species to control among the prairie wildflowers ...

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