Daucus pusillus Michaux

American Wild Carrot
Apiaceae (Carrot Family)


American wild carrot, also known as rattlesnake weed, is a simple to few-branched annual that grows to 2' tall.  The stems are retrorsely-hispid, and the leaves are alternate, pinnate and compound on stems to 6" long.  The umbellate flowers are subtended by bracts and there are five white petals and five stamens. The fruit is oblong with two rows of stiff bristles.  A common species on dry slopes below 5000', mostly rocky to sandy places in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and southern oak woodland, especially after fires or other disturbances, American wild carrot blooms from April to June.  There is only one other member of the genus Daucus in Calif.  It is introduced, and is the plant that most people would recognize as Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) if they saw it as a flowering weed out in a disturbed area, but which in fact is also the domestic carrot. This picture was taken on the Chaparral Trail in Malibu Creek State Park.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Daucus 2) pusillus.
Pronunciation: DAW-kus pew-SIL-lus.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.