Wild and Domesticated Carrots

21 July 2018 | Posted in Barry Yates , Rye Harbour
Wild and Domesticated Carrots

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) has become a common flower of the grassland and some shingle areas of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. We have encouraged it by spreading seed on the young arable grassland. On the damaged shingle habitat inside one of the rabbit exclosures it has done really well and we think it is now the ideal habitat for the very rare moth, the Sussex Emerald - that is only found in the UK at Dungeness - click here for more detail. It would be good to have it as a resident in Sussex one day!

Some flowerheads have a dark center that resembles an insect and may encourage other insects to come and land to help pollinate the flowers.

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One insect that we regularly see on Wild Carrot is the Sulphur Beetle.

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The Nationally Scarce ground-beetles Ophonus ardosiacus can be found in the seedheads in August.

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The seeds have tiny hooks on them and the seeds are transported to new areas by animals in their fur and people in their clothing.

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Visitors often ask "do they have little orange carrot roots?" so some years ago I pulled one up to see and here it is... with a small brown taproot.

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Our familiar large orange carrot is the result of years of selective breeding and was heavily influenced by the Dutch adopting orange as its national colour and added orange carrots to the list of items “dedicated” to the royal family . For much, much more detail on the history of carrots there is this... http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/...

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