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.