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Weed ID, please!

 
pioneer
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Yet another weed in my yard that I like enough to keep.  What is it?

weed.jpg
[Thumbnail for weed.jpg]
 
gardener
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Are you sure it's a weed? It looks exactly like a carrot - specifically how they look when they grow in the second year, or from a discarded or planted carrot top stub. Like from prepping carrots to eat.  I have some outside right now that I"m trying to grow out for seed and  to attract butterflies, and they look just like that.

However, plants of the Umbel family can look similar to one another, so you'd want to wait til it blooms to identify it.  Umbels of almost all types attract a ton of pollinators, and are food for swallowtail butterfly larvae, too. Those caterpillars look like an assortment of stripey, funny shaped caterpillars, such as this one of a black swallowtail:


That's from this website, an article about raising black swallowtail caterpillars on carrots:  Raising caterpillars from the Enchanted Tree Blog

So if you have room, at the very least if you leave it you might get some neat pollinators in the garden.


 
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I have some weeds like that.  I try to get rid of it as my research showed that is possibly poison hemlock.  If you let it flower you may be able to id it for sure.

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) Leaves:



Source

Flower and plant:



Source




Source


I am not an expert so maybe someone with more experience can tell.

 
gardener
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Does look a lot like carrot. Or could it perhaps be wild carrot, aka Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota)? It's also a great food plant for the butterflies and an attractor of other beneficials.
I'd avoid touching it until it flowers and you can confirm its identity, just in case it is one of the less friendly members of the Apiaciae.  
 
Gary Numan
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Thanks all.

I'm certainly hoping it's Queen Annes Lace.  It's very common here, so it won't be a surprise.

I guess it's possible to be a proper carrot, but I never planted carrots here, so it would have to be an airdrop by a bird passing through.  Check that, *many* airdrops, as there are > 50 of these plants within the acre around my house.

Poison hemlock?  Gawd, I hope not!
 
Anne Miller
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I agree about not touching the plant until you can get a positive ID.

There is also another look-alike with yellow flowers.

It is Wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa.

Contact with wild parsnip may cause skin irritation, blistering rashes and skin discoloration. This plant typically measures two to five feet tall and has stems that are hairless and grooved.

 
pollinator
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It's not hemlock or parsnip they have a different leaf morphology. But to identify most umbelifers you need to wait for flowers.
We have a lot of wild parsnip it's a lovely plant and no worse for blisters than cultivated parsnip. the only irritation is when one sows parsnip and cannot tell the seedlings apart!
 
pollinator
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Poison hemlock is very common. I can’t ID at that stage.
 
Heather Sharpe
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Flowers are probably the only way to be sure. You could check (without touching, even though I don't think it's hemlock) if it has hairy stems. Poison hemlock has a smooth stem. Often with purple blotches, though not so much when it is young. Wild carrot has a hairy stem.
 
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