Daucus Carota, better known as Queen Anne's Lace, is a common plant. Queen Anne's Lace can be found growing wild in fields, on the side of a road and in gardens. Depending on who you ask, this plant is annoying yet pretty to look at.
There are many interesting facts about Queen Anne's Lace from its look to its origins. If you look around the area you live in, there is a chance you will spot this hearty plant growing wild. Some people do plant it in their gardens because it requires little care.
- It has small white flowers that bloom in lacy, flat-topped clusters.
- In the center is a purple flower.
- The leaves grow two to eight inches long, and are fern-like. The leaves are toxic and may irritate skin.
- Queen Anne's Lace can grow up to four feet tall. Five foot plants can be achieved under the right conditions.
- The fruits are spiky and curl inward to form a "bird's nest."
- The large taproot is edible, if cooked. The taproot is called a wild carrot.
It is not advisable to eat any part of a plant or flower unless expertly identified. Water Hemlock and Poisonous Hemlock can easily be mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace. These plants are similar in appearance. Hemlock is very poisonous and should not be ingested.
Queen Anne's Lace has been considered by some gardeners to be an invasive weed. It will crowd and compete with native plants. Queen Anne's Lace needs very little attention to grow. It grows well in dry soil and does well in full sunlight. The seeds spread easily and the plant will grow the first year and bloom the second year.
Some animals have benefited from the arrival of this plant. Caterpillars of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly eat the leaves. Bees and other insects drink the nectar and predatory insects like the Green Lacewing attack prey such as aphids.
Some other interesting facts about Queen Anne's Lace include its origin. It came to the United States from Europe. It got its name from its lacy appearance, and was popular during the reign of Queen Anne. One story states that Queen Anne of England (1665-1714) was sewing some white lace and pricked her finger. A drop of blood landed on the lace. The purple flower in the middle of the plant is said to represent her blood.
Queen Anne's Lace is a member of the carrot family.
The purple flower is sterile and does not produce seeds.
While some consider Queen Anne's Lace an invasive weed, others consider it beautiful. Some gardeners plant it in a set location. It requires little attention and thrives in dry climate and poor soil. If you want to plant Queen Anne's Lace in your field, simply spread a few seeds around and the next year you will have plenty.
The history and lore about Queen Anne's Lace is long and distinguished. If you are looking to fill a sparse area in your yard, or are new to gardening, consider Queen Anne's Lace. It is also a good wildflower to grow if you want flowers, but don't have the time to care for them.