This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(ancient Greek name). Umbelliferae. Perhaps 60 annual and biennial herbs of very wide distribution. One or 2 species are native to N. Amer.; one species of Daucus is the common garden carrot, and the wild form of the same species is an abundant old-field weed in the northeastern states. Aside from the carrot, there are no horticultural members of the genus. Daucus comprises bristly or setose slender plants, with pinnately decompound and often finely divided, leaves, very small flowers in compound involucrate umbels, and oblong mostly dorsally flattened fruits The species are mostly of the temperate regions of Eu., Africa and Asia.
Carota, Linn. Figs. 821, 822. Bristly biennial, with twice- or thrice-pinnatifid leaves, the ultimate divisions cut and pointed: flowers crowded in umbellets, mostly white but sometimes blush or even pale yellow, some of the marginal flowers larger; "rays of umbel numerous; involucre of many elongated-subulate divisions: fruit (or "seed") small, greenish or brownish, somewhat convex on one side and plane on the opposite side grooved, bristly, aromatic. Eu. Under cultivation, the root has been greatly developed into many edible forms.
Variety Boissieri, Schweinf., from Egypt and also in Spain, has blood-red or violet-colored roots. Gt. 1904:1527. L. H. B.