Wild car­rot & pars­ley drop­wort

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Con­tents -

The car­rot fam­ily’s weedy rel­a­tives

Why is it a weed? Both grow read­ily in pas­tures and down­grade hay value Where is it found? Pars­ley drop­wort – mostly Up­per North Is­land Wild car­rot – na­tion­wide Is it toxic? Wild car­rot – ed­i­ble and can be used as a herb or di­uretic Pars­ley drop­wort – pos­si­bly toxic The dif­fer­ences be­tween wild car­rot and pars­ley drop­wort

WALK OR DRIVE around the coun­try­side and you’ll of­ten no­tice white flow­ers clus­tered at the top of tall, green stems. Pars­ley drop­wort ( Oenan­the

pimpinel­loides) and wild car­rot ( Dau­cus carota, car­rot weed) are com­mon and can be hard to tell apart. Adding to the con­fu­sion, there are other, sim­i­lar-look­ing plants like hem­lock and bur­dock.

The car­rots we en­joy eat­ing are a sub­species of wild car­rot; if you leave your gar­den va­ri­eties to ma­ture, they’ll flower and set seed in a sim­i­lar man­ner.

Both these species in­vade pas­ture, re­plac­ing grass and clover.

It’s pos­si­ble wild car­rot can taint milk, al­though cat­tle don’t tend to graze it.

Pars­ley drop­wort is sus­pected to be toxic; it be­longs to a plant fam­ily that in­cludes some highly toxic mem­bers.

How to con­trol these plants

If there are not too many, hand-pulling is a good strat­egy.

You can con­trol wild car­rot by top­ping or mow­ing it be­fore it flow­ers (be­cause it is an an­nual), but pars­ley drop­wort may re­grow.

Spray­ing with a 2,4-D (eg, Ba­ton) pro­vides good con­trol of seedlings, but is not ef­fec­tive as the plant gets big­ger.

Wild car­rot

• an­nual • flow­ers Au­gust to May • of­ten eaten by live­stock, es­pe­cially sheep, even when flow­er­ing

Pars­ley drop­wort

• peren­nial • re-grows from a fi­brous root system with black tu­bers each year • flow­ers from Oc­to­ber to April • less palat­able to live­stock when close to flow­er­ing

About Gary

Gary Bosley works as PGG Wright­son's North Is­land tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist in agron­omy. He and his fam­ily live on a 4ha life­style block south-east of Auck­land.

Pars­ley drop­wort.

Wild car­rot.

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