Information on Sea Carrot

Common Name: Sea Carrot
Scientific Name: Caucus carota ssp gummifer
Irish Name: Mealbhacán mara
Family Group: Apiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Sea Carrot could sometimes be confused with:

Carrot, Wild,

Sea Carrot is not at all commonly found in Ireland and only seems to grow in the extreme south-east corner. It is an upright plant, not very hairy, which bears umbels of small white or pale pinkish flowers on stems reaching only 25 cm. In many ways it is similar to Wild Carrot but one of the main differences is that in Sea Carrot the umbels, when in fruit, are flat or convex, unlike the umbels of Wild Carrot which are concave. A further difference is in the hairless leaves which seem to be darker, more fleshy and blunter than Wild Carrot. It is necessary to see the fruiting head in order to make a positive identification. When examined closely, the fruit can be seen to have spines which point upward and are webbed together. 

Sea Carrot grows in dry rocky areas, usually where there is not too much other vegetation. This species flowers from June to August, is a native biennial and a member of the Apiaceae or Carrot family.

I have not seen this species in the wild, as yet, but attended a workshop on the Apiaceae family and it was there that I took the photographs of specimens. The excellent workshop was given by Paul Green, BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Waterford and Wexford. It was run by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Carrot, Sea
Carrot, Sea