Queen Anne’s Lace

Daucus carota, whose common names include wild carrot, bird’s nest, bishop’s lace, and Queen Anne’s lace (North America), is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, (the ‘umbellifer’ familysuch as the highly poisonous hemlock and the commonly seen cow parsley) with white flowers and feathery leaves. It is a dainty frothy wild flower often with a tiny red flower in the centre.

There are several stories as to why the wild version is named ‘Queen Anne’s lace‘. Most revolve around King James I’s consort – the Queen Anne in question – who is said to have pricked her finger and stained some lace with a drop of blood. Wild carrot’s single red flower surrounded by frothy white blossom is quite evocative of this tale.

Wild carrot flowers in the summer (June to August). However, being an umbellifer, its skeletal frame often adds a stark beauty to the winter landscape. And from the picture below you can see why it is also called ‘Bird’s Nest’

The wild carrot’s root is tough and stringy and not particularly palatable, though it does smell like a carrot.

July Squares | Perspective


  1. Su Leslie says:

    These are really nice shots Jude; especially the first.

  2. BeckyB says:

    stunning, just stunning.

  3. restlessjo says:

    You’ve shown and told me everything so beautifully, Jude, but I’m bewildered by the red flower. Do you know why that appears in that froth of elegance? 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      No idea. It does not appear in every flower head, in fact this is the best I have ever seen.

      1. restlessjo says:

        How odd! But a good story 🙂 🙂

      2. Dina says:

        I have never seen anything like it, gorgeous.:-)

  4. carylbeach says:

    Fabulous flower heads, and I didn’t know the story about Queen Anne’s Lace.The closer you look at nature the more amazing it appears!

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    I’ve had it in the garden for a couple of years, but not this year – I really miss it!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Grows wild around here.

      1. Dina says:

        Sounds even better, I have to scrutinize our surroundings as well. It looks magnificent with such an abundance of flowers. The story is new to me. 👍🏻🤗

        1. Heyjude says:

          Grows on the coast so you might see some near you, very much like cow parsley with very distinctive seed heads.

        2. Dina says:

          I’ll have a look tomorrow going to the beach. The plant net identifier is great, especially when I know what to look for.

  6. Love the story behind the bloom!

  7. Sue says:

    That first image is lovely,Jude!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Sue. Best one I have seen.

  8. beetleypete says:

    I like the story of the queen and the lace. We need to keep that old folklore alive! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I have seen countless Queen Anne’s lace but never one with a red center. I wonder if that variety exists in the U.S.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well the name comes from North America!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Wow. That is news too.

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