This lovely British native plant makes a splash of colour alongside country roads from July to August with umbels which are claret-coloured or pale pink before they open, then bright white and rounded when in full flower with a festoon of bracts beneath. They then produce their intriguing seed-heads which curl inwards making a closed cup holding the ripe seeds before sometimes falling off and becoming "tumbleweeds"! Domesticated carrots are cultivars of the subspecies, Daucus carota subsp. sativus. The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet's delight whilst the aromatic seed is used as a flavouring in stews etc. Finally the dried roasted roots can be ground into a powder and used for making coffee.
Sow seeds IMMEDIATELY you receive them, no matter what time of the year it is, they depend on having several months in cold, damp compost, (NOT DRY IN A FRIDGE) before they will germinate. Keep the seed tray e.g. in a greenhouse or shady corner. These fresh seeds can be slow to germinate but do not use any artificial heat in an attempt to germinate them as it will simply disrupt their germination mechanism causing them to enter deeper dormancy. Alternatively, and probably best, these seeds can be simply scattered where they are required.
Common name:Wild Carrot, Bird's nest, Bishop's Lace, Queen Anne's Lace