Frosted seed head of Daucus carota

Frosted Seed Heads: Wild Carrot

Back in September I wrote a post about the flowers and seed heads of wild carrot (Daucus carota). I was hoping that the seed heads would last long enough to be frosted when winter arrived. Luckily for me they did, so I had the chance to photograph them. (You can see my original post here: https://annmackay.blog/2021/09/19/going-to-seed-wild-carrot/ )

This wild carrot is a variety named ‘Dara’. It has white flowers that gradually turn a deep burgundy and are very lacy and delicate-looking. The seed heads are just as interesting as the flowers, especially when they curve inwards into a little ‘nest’ which protects the maturing seeds. By this time of the year most of the seeds have escaped (some with a fair bit of help from me) and may become the new plants for future years.

Meanwhile, the remains of the seed heads provide a great framework for frost. The top photograph was taken when the frost was particularly heavy, making it look as if the seed head had been dipped in sugar crystals.

This plant was in a position that is shaded from the early morning sun, so the frost lasts and allows time for photography. The cold lingers here, and the shade from the fence creates a bluish cast which makes it feel even chillier. (The bottom photograph is of a plant that is further from the fence, so frost there doesn’t last as long. It was also taken earlier in the winter, when there was a much lighter frost.)

I’m grateful for simple things like these frosted seed heads in winter, because they keep me supplied with something to photograph. They give me something to enjoy and to marvel at as I look at them closely…and something that is enough to get me outside on an icy winter morning!

Frosted seed head of Daucus carota

15 thoughts on “Frosted Seed Heads: Wild Carrot

    1. Thank you Indira! There isn’t a lot to photograph in the garden at this time of year, so I’ve been taking any chance I get to photograph frost. I leave the seed heads both for the birds and so that I can see them when they’re frosted. 🙂

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  1. I actually prefer the lighter frosted one – better shape and lovely light. My wild carrot didn’t come back, but there are plenty in the lanes so I should go and collect seed this year.

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    1. Yes, I prefer that picture myself. I had forgotten that I had it, so it was a nice surprise to find it in my files. it’s all about the light really – great when it hits the plant just right but frustrating when there’s none where you want it!

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  2. I really enjoy seed head photos, and I especially like these. Queen Anne’s Lace isn’t common here. and neither is frost, so it’s doubly attractive. The cage-like structure is so interesting; it’s reminding me of ‘something,’ but I haven’t quite been able to identify the memory. I did remember your original; this pair makes a lovely addition to Queen Anne’s gallery!

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    1. Earlier in the winter there were lots of little seeds still held in those ‘cages’, so I sprinkled them where I hoped new plants might spring up. That could add an even wilder look to areas of the garden. 🙂 And I may have a follow-up photo because since then I’ve been out photographing drops of melted frost…

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  3. Hi Ann! Beautiful icy seed heads – they really express the wintry feel! We are looking at a hard freeze this Sunday – hope I do not get any wintry frost on my plants. The front is north facing so it is always cooler there in the winter. Keep the frost pix coming!

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    1. Thank you Syd! It’s actually getting slightly warmer here but I do have more frosty pics to process – and some of the very clear drops left after the frost has melted. The wintry feel will continue for a little while… 🙂 I hope your plants don’t get frosted!

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