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American Wild Carrot

Daucus pusillus

maturing fruit from inflorescece photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed western foothills of Four Peaks, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April 2009. The seeds are nearly mature, the flowers having opened some weeks ago.

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ANNUAL: Spring annual generally growing in partially shady spots and absent in drought years. A few branching stems, mostly less than 30 cm.

LEAVES: Leaves are thrice pinnate into many narrow segments. Oil glands emit characteristic carrot odor when crushed.

RANGE: Found from California to the East Coast of the United States mostly along the southern tier. In wet years American Wild Carrot is fairly widespread in the Sonoran Desert. Rocky slopes and wash banks.

FRUIT: The elyptic seeds develop two from each small flower and are covered with short, hooked hairs. The paired seeds eventually separate and become tiny burs often dispersed by fur, feathers or clothing.

FLOWERS: Many, small white flowers are borne in a flat-topped panicle.


Apiaceae -- Carrot Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009