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A-Z April Challenge; Q is for Queen Anne’s Lace

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I hope you enjoy these interesting facts and a photographic study of Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota. She is said to be named after Anne, Queen of Great Britain and her great grandmother, Anne of Denmark.

In the center of the white flower cluster, is a tiny red flower. Just one. The leaves and flowers are very lace-like, but plant folklore says the flower got her name from a time when Queen Anne nicked her finger while making…lace. What an honor, huh? I’m not so sure I’d want a plant (a weed, no less) named after a silly accident I had.

Like daisies, you can put food color in a vase of water and the stalks will absorb the color, to tint the white flower head whatever color you choose.

The plant is designated a noxious weed in the U.S., but is a perfect companion plant for tomatoes. I was amazed to read that Queen Anne’s Lace creates a micro-climate for lettuce, encouraging it to thrive. Hmm. Cool.  Just don’t mistake it for poison hemlock, please.

For my eye, Queen Anne’s Lace is most photogenic during fall and winter; at first, delicate and standing tall above other wildflowers and weeds, which have been laid flat by wind and rain, later, stark against the bright white of snow, or bent in half by her burden.

Sorry, no summer photos of her. I didn’t find one photo that I took in an snow-covered field in Alaska this winter. Like a roomful of four-foot-tall courtly ladies, they were bent over, side branches appearing as arms, bowing before their dance partners. This one may give you an idea:

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Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

10 thoughts on “A-Z April Challenge; Q is for Queen Anne’s Lace

  1. We used to color them like that and then pinch the heads off and wear them stuck to our shirts like corsages.

  2. Interesting post with origins of the “weed” and tips on gardening. My memories of Queen Anne’s lace are associated with gathering stalks in my Grandma’s garden, but I never noticed a touch of red in the middle of the white cluster. Hmmm!

  3. Thanks for sharing that tidbit of folklore on Queen Anne’s Lace. Clever usage of the letter ‘Q’. 🙂

  4. When in England on a garden tour while admiring Queen Anne’s Lace a woman said, “You Americans have such a nice name for this plant. Here we call it Cow’s Parsley.” I know it doesn’t transplant well from the roadside. I tried! It is lovely in flower arrangements. Happy to know further info about QAL

    • Funny that we would name it after a Queen, but they hadn’t. My children used to bring it mixed in with other wildflowers from the field we lived next to.
      Thanks for the visit, Stepheny.
      P

  5. Yes, red in the center, but not always. Googled and found all you didn’t need to know about Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot. http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html

    “Strangely, quite often you will find a single darkly coloured floret just off center, standing tall above the rest. No one knows why.

    Botanists have debated the mystery of the coloured floret in Daucas carota (also known as “Queen Anne’s Lace,” “Wild Carrot,” “Bishop’s Lace,” and “Bird’s Nest”) for at least the last 150 years. Back then some of the most learned botanists believed that the floret was a genetic oddity that provided no service to the plant. Many modern botanists disagree. Some suspect that the coloured floret tricks flying insects into thinking that a bug is already sitting on the flower.

    Perhaps this attracts predatory wasps to land hoping to snatch a quick meal. Perhaps the presence of one insect is a signal to others that there is something on this flower worth having. If so, then the floret might entice flying insects to land and thereby help pollinate the plant.”

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