Otherwise commonly known as Queen Anne's Lace, the wild carrot an easily found and identified wild edible. The root is very similar to the domestic carrot in taste and smell, but appearance is slightly different.
It has a white color and is significantly smaller than the carrot we have come to know, but is absolutely just as delicious. We find them and typically just eat them raw, but they are perfect for soups and stews paired with really any of your favorite game meat or fresh caught fish. Readily available and abundant, this edible can be found just about anywhere. As always, stay away from roads and highways to avoid contamination. The only issue is that the proper identification is crucial because there is a plant that is similar in appearance, that is poisonous for us to ingest. That plant is the Poison Hemlock plant. Good news is that they are quite different in comparison and easy to differentiate. The wild carrot is first identified by its second year flower. Look for the small purple dot in the center and you are on the right track.
The poison hemlock flower is slightly different.
The stalk on the carrot plant is sort of hairy and green in color. The stalk on the poison hemlock is smooth and has purple specks or spots.
These differences are quite easy to determine when looking at the two plants, but the absolute best way to tell then apart is....... If it smells like a carrot it's a carrot! Poison hemlock does not smell or taste like a carrot at all.
Now that we know the difference, the edible root is not found on the flowering plant. The large plant is the second year mature plant. You'll need to find the baby plants or first year. I can normally spot them growing in the same locations, just look for the plants that have not flowered and pull them from the ground. You'll find yourself a nice and tender carrot root. Delicious, just wash it and use it any way you normally use the domestic carrot.
A word of caution, please positively identify any wild plant before consuming. This article in now way is meant as a field guide or identification source and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes. Some plants and wild mushrooms can make you very sick or even worse.
We consume only the plants and mushrooms we are 100% positively sure of what they are.
With that said, that's how humans have been doing it since the beginning of our time. Most people nowadays know nothing about how much there is out there that Mother Nature provides for us and it only costs some time in the outdoors, and a little knowledge. I have really come to prefer wild edible plants and meats over any farmed source because of the purity and high quality it provides all on its own. Most of all, I know where my food is comingfrom. If you're reading this post, you probably feel the same way or are at least interested, so get out there and enjoy, especially if it is with someone you love. The benefits are not only for your survival, but good for your soul as well. Take care and thank you for stopping by!