Wild Carrot

Common name:
Wild Carrot
Daucus carota
Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)- The Carrot Family
Flowering period:
Limestone grasslands, rocky pastures, calcareous and sandy soils, roadside verges
Conservation Status:
Common throughout the Burren and in grasslands, sand dunes, sea cliffs, waste ground and railway banks nationwide. Irish Red List, 2016

Upright white flowered umbels of wild carrot swaying in the breeze is a familiar site throughout the grasslands and roadside verges of  the Burren in late Summer.

Brief description

Hairy biennial with green finely divided lobed leaflets. Umbels 6-7 cm across  of small white flowers at the top of solid, ridged stems.

Noteworthy characteristics

Central flower often rich pink , a ruff of bracts occur underneath the flower.

History and Folklore:

Our Irish  ancestors distinguished  wild carrot from the cultivated form due largely to their recognition of the efficacy of its use in traditional herbal medicine

Medicinal actions & Uses

Much valued by our ancestors for its medicinal properties it was used in the treatment of kidney, skin and digestive disorders. Also renowned by for its aphrodisiac properties.

Other interesting uses and points of interest

The flower centres were used to treat epilepsy.

In Cork carrots were used in the treatment of warts and in Co Donegal as a blood cleanser.

Other traditional Irish uses include for sores, earache and wounds

 Also known as ‘Birds-nest’ plant due to the change in flower shape as it goes to seed

Both leaves and seeds are aromatic

Personal note

I am a great admirer of this fascinating wild plant. I particularly love the scent of its leaves and the intriguing ‘birds nest’ shape of the flowering  heads as they turn to seed.

Botanical Classification:

Irish Red List of Vascular plants 2016

If you have any questions about this or any other plants shown on our website please feel free to message us via the form on our Contact page
Back to All Wild Herbs