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all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Posted by freshfields Phi ( on
Tue, Dec 5, 06 at 10:07

i was checking whats new with johnnyseeds and i noticed they are selling o.p. carrots for microgreen purposes. it appears the ferny leaves of carrots are "edible"

question is .... are carrot ferny leaves really edible ? have not encounter that before

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Yes, they're edible. They taste a little like parsley, and that's how I use them in cooking, as well as using them as a garnish.


RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Watch a horse eat up carrot tops. They seem to love them too., so I expect they are quite edible, as are radish greens.

RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Yes, they're edible, but quite bitter, IMO. They are included in the 'potherbs' of old, but originally, of course, only Queen Anne's Lace was used (QAL is the original carrot). For those interested, carrot tops are rich in Vitamin K.

Here's a recipe specifically for them.

Carrot Top Soup
6 small to medium carrots with tops and roots
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons white rice
2 large leeks, white parts only
2 thyme or lemon thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons chopped dill, parsley, or celery leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water

Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems. You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop finely. Grate the carrots or, if you want a more refined-looking soup, finely chop them. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot tops and carrots, rice, leeks, thyme, and dill. Cook for several minutes, turning everything a few times, then season with 1 1/2 teaspoons slat and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and serve.

RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Daisy -

But, but, but - Queen Anne's Lace is supposed to be poisonous????


RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Queen Anne's Lace is the original carrot, and while edible it is usually used as a medicinal in the USA. BUT.... make sure it's QAL that your gathering and not Wild Hemlock ... which looks similar but is deadly.

RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

As Westelle confirmed from my earlier post, Queen Anne's Lace is the original carrot. It is quite safe to eat. If you check out the botanical name of carrot, it's Daucus carota var. sativus. QAL is Daucus carota. The modern carrot is simply a cultivar (cultivated variety) of the original wild carrot (QAL). The only difference is in the colour and taste of the root.

BUT.... The plant resembles several others which may be poisonous, including Hemlock and Fools Parsley.

To distinguish Queen Anne's Lace from Hemlock or Fool's Parsley: Queen Anne's lace has one single blue/purple flower in the centre of the flower cluster, the root has carrot smell and it prefers a dry growing environment. Poison Hemlock and Fools Parsley are found in wet areas.

AND....The leaves contain furocoumarins that may cause allergic contact dermatitis from the leaves, especially when wet. Later exposure to the sun may cause mild photodermatitis. [This is NOT the same as 'poisonous' - it will only affect susceptible people with allergies to the plant. Some people have the same reaction to yarrow, ragwort, chamomile etc.]

Here's another recipe, made with the flowers of QAL:

Queen Anne's lace Jelly

18 large Queen Annes lace flower heads

4 Cups water

1/4 Cup lemon juice

1 pkg. powdered pectin

3 1/2 Cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add flower heads (push them down into the water). Cover and steep 30 minutes. Strain. Measure 3 Cups liquid into 4-6 quart pan. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and stir constantly. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute longer, then remove from heat. Add color (pink) if desired. Skim. Pour into jars leaving 1/4" head space. Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes. Makes about 6 jars.

RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

The QAL - is probably one of those plants that - as you mention - some folks can have an allergic reaction to. While there are a lot of such plants growing everywhere, (datura, foxglove, some vincas - my own elephant ear roots - and the many mushroom growths), I presume it is wise to classify them as "dangerous or poisonous" so as to alert the majority of folks, who might be affected by them.

Just from my own backyard learning - and while working in the medical field, I became aware of a lot of these growing things, that while not always poison, could affect some adversely.

My own allergic reactions - severe type - comes from the Bermuda grass when it goes to seed. It doesn't bother me to cut it or pull it - but when it goes to seed, then it is best to try to avoid it - because of the asthmatic condition it provokes.

Somehow my thinking of hemlock - centers around the conifer-type trees - rather than a single annual plant - such as a carrot, unless there are similar names.

Just my 2 c's.


RE: all about the ferny leaves of carrot s

Daisyduckworth gave a very precise explanation of Queen Anne's Lace and Hemlock. Read her post carefully.

Poison Hemlock is not the hemlock tree (Tsuga canadensis), which does not resemble QAL. It is Conium maculatum which does resemble QAL.

There is a distinct difference between toxins and allergens. Carrots (Daucus carota), whether wild or domesticated, are not toxic, they are allergenic. This is like peanuts, which are not toxic but can kill those who are allergic to them.

It's important that any wild plant be positively identified before it is used for food.


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