Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Royal Lace

Around the garden, the wildflowers are in bloom..
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
This wild version of the carrot is one of the most common and best known "weeds" we have. It is hard to imagine what a fallow field would look in summer without the white flower heads bobbing in the breeze. The Bird's nest name comes from the dried flower heads that curl up to resemble small bird nests.

It is thought that the carrots escaped from the gardens of the early European settlers in North America having thrived in the wild to become what we know as Queen Anne's Lace.
Indeed the roots can be eaten just like a small pale carrot if harvested while still young and tender. Pull up a plant anywhere and smell the root. You will find it smells just like a carrot.

It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, coloured by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.
The plant is commonly referred to, as Cow Parsley ( Anthriscus sylvestris ) in Great Britain.


donna baker said...

Thanks for the info Jo. It's all over my farm right now. Think I'll have a taste of the root tomorrow. I have never noticed the red. I will have to look.

DJan said...

Be sure the "cow parsley" doesn't have red streaks on the stems or it could be poison hemlock. They look quite similar. Hemlock also doesn't smell good!

Marilyn said...

It's one of my favourite "weeds".
Infact I prefer the wild things....they know what to do and how to survive and they are "free".
I love the photos on your blog....they have such a "feel" about them. Almost haunting...but in a good way!!

Denise said...

Fascinating! I love Queen Anne's Lace. Thanks for stopping by Jo. If ever you come up this way I would love to show you around my favorite haunts.

Teri said...

I love filling vases with Queen Anne's Lace and thistles. So pretty!

Pam said...

Thanks for the info! We have a ton of it around here and it's always so graceful and frilly looking.

Sandra said...

Idid not know about the edible part. we were told as children to leave them alone because they had chigger bugs on them and would get under our skin and itch. not sure if that is true, but they are lovely

Linda J. said...

A friend, who is really into wildflowers, told me about taking a "lovely" basket of Queen Anne's Lace to use as a centerpiece at a family reunion here in southeastern KY. One of her distant relatives quickly removed it from the table and asked why would anyone put "chigger weed" on the food table?!?
Great post, Jo, about this pretty weed/wildflower.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I love Queen Anne's Lace, Jo... Thanks for all of the info about it... VERY interesting.


Barbara Anne said...

How very interesting! We have Queen Anne's Lace in bloom here and now I want to go pull one up. I love the delicate blossoms!


maggie's garden said...

Pretty cool...I never new this about Queen Anne's lace. Thanks for the info....and the lovely photos.

Mary Lou said...

I am so thrilled to know this! I had no idea but I'm going to pull up one and see, or smell.
We lived in England for 2 yrs and I loved the thick lace all along the road sides.
Thanks for the great info.

carrotmuseum said...

Lots more about this wonderful plant in the World Carrot Museum, including recipes. It has a long and fascinating history.


Mildred said...

I keep meaning to try a project my sister told me about with Queen Anne's Lace. She says to add food coloring to the water and the flower head will soak up the color!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Queen Anne's Lace is also one of my favorite wild-flowers, and I find this so very interesting because I had no idea!! Thank-you for teaching this old dog something new today! :-)