A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Seseli gummiferum (Moon Carrot)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.

Moon carrot is an odd name for this rather odd-looking plant. As a member of Apiaceae (the parsley family), it is indeed a relative of the carrot, but its origins are not extra-terrestrial. In reality, it is native to the coasts of the Black Sea and the Aegean.the-plant

In common with many seaside plants, the moon carrot (Seseli gummiferum) is protected from strong sunlight and desiccation. The leaves are covered with a fine coating of wax, which reflects the sun’s rays and helps to prevent moisture-loss from contact with salty seawater spray.

close-up-1The flowers first appear in flattened clusters of pinkish discs, but turn to white as they mature. The disks change, too, and slowly become a collection of white, fluffy balls.close-up-2

See it blooming right now in the Dry Garden, adjacent to the Herb Garden.the-setting-2

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