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A Bow to Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) appears on our roadsides and in the fields beginning in mid-July. I always think of it as a high summer plant. I never liked it much as a child, probably because I often saw it, or noticed it, when it was going by and curling into a cup-like shape that has given rise to another  of its names, bird’s nest flower.

Like many flowers it does have several names. Others are bishop’s lace and wild carrot. It is easy to understand the name wild carrot because the root has a carrot-y smell, and it is edible although the roots quickly become woody and not very appealing.

At first glance Queen Anne’s lace appears to be a white flower, but upon closer inspection, there is a flower in the center that can be red or purple in some varieties. The Queen Anne’s Lace in my neighborhood is pure white.  One legend has it that this colored flower is a drop of  Queen Anne’s blood from when she pricked her finger with an embroidery needle. This colored flowers attracts pollinators.

Queen Anne’s Lace is not a native or rare wildflower, but I have chosen it for Wildflower Wednesday, because, in my maturity, I find it a beautiful flower which I admire on the roadsides, and bring into the house for a bouquet.

On another note entirely, don’t forget about the Free Community Harvest Supper on Sunday, August 22 from 4:30-6:30 pm.  Good eats. Good music. And a good deed. Donations made at the Supper will go to fund Greenfield Farmers Market Vouchers for those in need.  If you cannot attend, consider making a donation to Center for Self Reliance Food Pantry, 23 Osgood Street, Greenfield, MA 01301.

3 comments to A Bow to Queen Anne’s Lace

  • This has always been one of my favorite wildflowers, Pat. I used to pick it as a child for my own little wildflower bouquets; to me it’s as attractive as any more exotic bloom a gardener might cultivate. No need to plant it here, though–I have plenty of volunteers:)

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    Hail to the Queen.

  • Pat, funny you should post this right now because I have been pondering the Queen Anne’s Lace that is growing in my front hill bed this summer. The flowers are so pretty but it does reseed itself rather..um…extravagantly here 🙂 As a wildlife gardener but also somebody who tries to grow as many native New England plants as I can, I’m torn about removing it because as a member of the carrot family, it’s a host plant for our beautiful black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar..these butterflies use queen anne’s lace to lay their eggs in the absence of some of the more rare native members of the carrot family such as golden alexanders.

    So I have a hard time yanking them, but I’ll probably be deadheading the seedheads to keep them from taking over the rest of my garden…

    Ellen (tipping hat to this non-native but beneficial wild flower)

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