A common annual or biennial plant of downs and roadsides, its leaves are a common sight in neglected vegetable gardens. The cultivated form provides the edible kitchen carrot. When the wild carrot begins to fruit, it is at its most distinctive. The fruits have long spines which attach themselves to any passing animal. In the 16th century, it was known as a remedy for epilepsy and much later on it was used for such diverse complaints as dropsy and kidney stones.