White flowers of Wild or Sea Carrot growing with other plants on a sand dune

Wild Carrot or Sea Carrot on Sand Dunes

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The Wild Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. carota) and the Sea Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. gummifer) are subspecies of the same plant. They are also known by the common name of Queen Anne’s Lace, It can be difficult for an amateur to tell the difference because they can theoretically occur together on the coast although the Sea Carrot is only found on the coast. The shape of the flower heads when fully open can vary according to location – concave, flat, or convex. One of the distinguishing features between the subspecies is that the umbel rays (short stalks bearing the flower clusters) are hairy in Sea Carrot but smooth in Wild Carrot; and you can see hairs on the umbel rays if you expand the final image. Looking at my pictures overall, I am definitely undecided.

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