Can anyone identify this weed - I'd imagine its quite common in New Zealand. (I'm in Auckland, and its flooding my untended padocks, but also flowing over into used areas).

It proved remarkably difficult to get a good picture, but hopefully this one shows the key characteristics - these appear to be a flat white or brown/red flat head of flowers. Plants grow to about 50cm-1m tall, and are long-leaf. I'd imagine they are part of - or similar to the papyrus family.

Looking at Google Images, I wonder if it could be an umbrella Sedgeweed - I think the flowers are similar in the early stages to what I have seen online, but I saw nothing with similar large flowers - the description would seem apt though.

weeds growing on lawn

enter image description here

Not sure if it should be a separate question, but is it toxic to livestock ?

  • I am thinking Queen Anne's Lace, same family with poison hemlock and carrots. It is a coveted root plant, very sugary. Smells and tastes like carrots. Need to see pictures of the leaves in particular. Are there any dried 'seed' heads?
    – stormy
    Dec 3, 2016 at 8:46
  • 1
    To make good photo, it is useful to have one hand, a graph paper or some object at the near the object to photograph. This will help to make focus on the right spot. [many cameras had difficult to make focus on green. Having also a green background doesn't help. Note often if you remove such hand/prop, the camera keep the focus right] Dec 3, 2016 at 10:33
  • The white flower appears to be Ammi majus or Daucus carota, the pinkish one is difficult - it would be helpful if you could isolate the leaves from the surrounding greenery for each plant and post images of them.
    – Bamboo
    Dec 3, 2016 at 11:59
  • Giacomo I COMPLETELY AGREE. When newbies ask a question this should definitely be part of their 'intake'. Scale is a HUGE deal and the one thing that confuses and frustrates (me)? Such a simple request. Trying to ID and talk about plants using only photos and layman's views is TOUGH and a bit irresponsible. Just a bit. Argghhh. Working as a Master Gardener when we get to put our little plastic name tag on our lapel we are admonished to only diagnose/ID when we have physical stuff in our hands. Not many people know how to collect the proper samples and worse what questions to ask.
    – stormy
    Dec 4, 2016 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


If the leaves on the white flowered plant are the same as the leaves on the pink flowered plant, its likely Daucus carota - the flower umbels start out pinkish and usually turn white as the flower gets larger and opens, though some may still be tinged pink. This link shows images of the plant at various stages of its development: Daucus carota (Wild Carrot).

It doesn't seem to be particularly toxic to livestock, horses don't seem to bother with it much, but a high percentage in hay should be avoided. The only thing to make sure of is its not poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) because the two plants look quite similar; this link points out differences between the two: How to Tell the Difference Between Poison Hemlock and Queen Anne's Lace.

  • I've never seen the pink, ever. But could be the pH of the soil, or water...nice sites...AND I am so very glad you warned them of the Poison Hemlock that looks very similar (purple in stems). I've had to knock on people's doors when I spied the poison hemlock in their pastures. Livestock thank goodness is smarter than we think. But if it gets dried and mixed in their hay or they've nothing else to eat they will eat it.
    – stormy
    Dec 3, 2016 at 20:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.