American Wild Carrot (Pusillus)

The American Wild Carrot (Pusillus) is generally described as an annual forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: Native Americans ate the roots raw and cooked (Epple 1995).

Medicinal: In California this species is called rattlesnake weed, because the herbage is reputed to be efficacious in the treatment of snakebites (Moldenke 1949). A poultice of the chewed plant has been applied to snakebites (Moerman 1998). A decoction has been used to treat colds, itches and fevers (Ibid.).

General Characteristics

General: Celery Family (Apiaceae). Daucus pusillus is a native annual found most commonly during the early-mid part of the growing season. In most parts of Texas, this species has gone to seed by mid-summer. Rattlesnake-weed resemble their cultivated relative, the garden carrot. The stem is normally slender, from 2-4 feet in height and unbranched or only a single weak branch as compared to the introduced Daucus carota, which is sometimes heavily branched and more robust. The flower is a white umbel. Upon maturity, the flower cluster (umbel) closes to form a cup or bird’s nest. The leaves are pinnately compound and finely cut. Leaflets are deeply serrated (saw-toothed). The seed of Daucus carota have fine hairs rather than the stiff bristles common to Daucus pusillus. Another distinguishing characteristic between the two species is the central flower of each individual umbellet is rose or purple in Daucus carota rather than being white throughout as found in Daucus pusillus.

American wild carrot is self-fertile. The flowers are hermaphrodite, having both male and female organs, and are pollinated by flies and bees.

A similar species is water parsnip (Sium suave), which has a corrugated main stem and leaves only once compound. Bishop’s weed (Ammi majus) and water hemlock (Cicuta maculata) have white umbels, but the leaflets are not deeply serrated or carrot like.

Required Growing Conditions

Daucus (pusillus or carota) is likely the most common and widespread plant with white umbels growing along Texas’ roadsides. It is known from the U.S. West Coast and the southern half of the U.S. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

General Upkeep and Control

DETR4"The NRCS Field Office Technical Guide for Hawaii indicates that threeflower ticktrefoil stands require a low amount of maintenance. Threeflower ticktrefoil is persistent and resistant to heavy grazing.

Environmental Concerns The southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula) is a serious pest of agriculture worldwide and one of the most serious pests of macadamia nuts in Hawaii. Threeflower ticktrefoil serves as a host for the southern green stink bug. Also, threeflower ticktrefoil is a host for the soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi).

Seeds and Plant Production No information "

Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Annual
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA