Queen Anne’s Lace

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Queen Anne’s Lace earned its common name from a legend that tells of Queen Anne of England (1665-1714) pricking her finger and a drop of blood landing on white lace she was sewing.

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Its flowers are small and have five white petals that form umbrella-shaped clusters that are between two to five inches in diameter. Often, one to several dark purple flowers appear in the center of each cluster.

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Although common along North America’s roadsides, this plant is native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia, and naturalized to North America and Australia.

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This flower’s Latin name is Daucus carota and domestic carrots are a cultivar of a subspecies of this plant. Early Europeans cultivated Queen Anne’s Lace and the Romans ate it as a vegetable. American colonists boiled and ate its taproots.

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Queen Anne’s Lace’s flower clusters start out curled up and eventually opens to allow pollination. Over time, as the flower matures, the cluster curls inward forming a cup-like bird’s nest when it goes to seed at the end of the season. This flower can grow to over three feet tall.

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Its feathery leaves resemble those of the domestic carrot. Queen Anne’s Lace is found in fields, meadows, waste areas, roadsides and disturbed habitats. It is very hardy and thrives in a dry environment.

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This plant is also known as Wild Carrot, Bishop’s Lace, Bee’s Nest, Bird’s Nest, Devil’s Plague, Lace Flower and Rantipole.

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