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This small, low-growing, lacy plant is popping up in a patch of my yard where strawberries usually grow. It’s tender and resembles dense, low carrot tops. It’s highly scented with a soapy, floral, resinous (but quite pleasant) smell that seems familiar but I can’t quite place it. These plants have are about 5″ in diameter right now and have a thinnish tap-root with a dark pink tint. The scent is lovely and seems like it would make a nice tea so I’m crossing my fingers it’s edible.

I’m in Bergen County, NJ.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!

Comments

4 thoughts on “Highly fragrant plant looks like carrot tops?

  1. Karl Anderson said:

    DO NOT MESS WITH IT! Repeat: DO NOT MESS WITH IT! I can’t be 100 percent sure of the identification without seing flowers, but any unknown plant in the carrot family is suspect. One strong possibility is poison hemlock, Conium maculatum, one of the most toxic plants in the world, and one that is increasingly showing up in New Jersey. Ingestion of just one or two leaves would kill you. And wash your hands after handling it, on the off chance that you might have sap on your hands and then be handling food.

    If you leave it alone, it will eventuallly send up a flowering stalk up to six feet tall, the stem of which is green, spotted (maculate) with purple. The flowers are small, white, and in a flat-topped flower cluster, something like Queen Anne’s lace, only bigger.

    Karl A.

  2. abh75 said:

    WOW! Thanks for that info Karl. Since the clusters are small right now, I’m going to pull it all up (with gloves of course) and dispose of it properly. Scary indeed.

    Thanks so very much!

  3. abh75 said:

    One last question – that patch is where I plant edibles. If I remove these small plants, dig out an inch or so of the soil and add new compost/topsoil, should it be a problem? This is definitely the first year I have seen these guys. Thanks.

  4. Karl Anderson said:

    should not be a problem. But you have to get rid of all the roots of the “carrot” or new plants might spring up fom them.

    Karl A.

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