SEA CARROT

Daucus carota ssp. gummifer

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8pink
 
morph
morph8actino
 
morph
morph8hemizygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
5 (10)
type
typeZumbel
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8ribbed
 
rarity
rarityZscarce
 

28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
A single plant from above, branched flowering stems splayed-out unlike those Wild Carrot where the branches stay relatively close together.


June 2014, near Lands End, Cornwall. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
The umbels are more hemi-spherical than those of Wild Carrot.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
The bracts underneath the umbel are similar to those on Wild Carrot.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Bird's eye view; unlike Wild Carrot, there is no single dark-red or beetroot coloured flower in the centre. The flowers are white (sometimes pinkish) with smaller more symmetrical flowers in the middle of the umbel, and larger increasingly zygomorphic flowers at the periphery.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Some flowers have a pinkish hue, usually on the larger flowers near the periphery.


June 2014, near Lands End, Cornwall. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Flowers smaller nearer the centre of the umbel (even if, as here, the inner flowers have not yet opened fully).


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
The petals have a deep fold along the centre-line giving the impression that they are deeply cut. If the petals un-fold fully, they look whole.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
But some are so deeply folded even when open as to look like there might be ten petals whereas in reality there are but five.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
When in fruit, the umbels do not curl up inwards like they do in Wild Carrot but remain open.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
The fruits have burs like those of Wild Carrot.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are darker green and more succulent than those on Wild Carrot.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Before the umbel of umbels has opened. The smaller umbels have yet to un-fold within the umbel of umbels. The tri-forked bracts are pointing upwards and have not yet turned down.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
The smaller as yet still folded umbels are wrapped in long light-green dagger-shaped and un-forked bracts. The major umbel is surrounded by red-tipped forking dagger-shaped bracts.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
As yet unopened umbel surrounded by slightly fuzzy hairy bracts that trifurcate twice into five daggers. When the umbel opens these bracts will fold down under the umbels of umbels.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Darker green finely divided leaves, hairier on the underside. Stem hairier still and slightly ribbed.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Fine leaves at the epicentre of the plant.


28th May 2012, east shore, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Reverse of stem leaves.


June 2014, near Lands End, Cornwall. Photo: © Brent Clarkson
The stems are thick and hispid hairy.


Easily semantically confused with : Sea Campion (Silene uniflora) or Sea Centaury (Centaurium littorale), [plants of similar names belonging to differing families]

There are thre sub-species of Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) :

  • Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)
  • Wild Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. carota)
  • Sea Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. gummifer)
  • Carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus), the only one with a swollen root (a carrot)

Wild Carrot and all its' sub-species are distinguished from other Umbellifers by their unique tri-forked or pinnate bracts around each umbel of umbels.

Some similarities to : the rare Bladder-seed (Physospermum cornubiense) which has similarly shaped leaves, but they are of a lighter green.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The hemi-spherical widely-separated umbels of white flowers, growing near the seaside with Parsley-like leaves. Rarely growing taller than just a short 25cm and with dense white hairs (hispid) on the thick stem.

Unlike Edible Carrot where the roots swell to form orange-coloured carrots, neither roots of Sea Carrot nor Wild Carrot swell.

Sea Carrot likes to grow only near the sea, on dunes, cliffs and rocky shores as here. It was the only specimen to be found, a casual, since it is not on the BSBI map in this location. Yet... It is quite rare, occurring only near the western coasts in a few places in Wales, much of the Cornish coast and on the Kent coast. It grows cliffs, sand dunes, and rocky places near the sea only.


  Daucus carota ssp. gummifer  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Apiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carrot family8Apiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Daucus
Daucus
(Carrots)

SEA CARROT

Daucus carota ssp. gummifer

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]