Friday, September 14, 2012

Wildflower Lace

If you live pretty much anywhere in the US or even in parts of Australia and Europe right now, you have been seeing lots of Queen Anne's Lace--a tall wildflower with tiny lacy white flowers.
Some call it a weed, but I prefer wildflower, not only because of its beauty, but also because it is so beneficial for wildlife.

 Bees and butterflies love it.
There are many tales as to how it got its name, most revolving around the story of Queen Anne (imagine that!) of England, formerly Princess of Denmark. Wife of King James I, she was a lace-maker extraordinaire.

She used a technique known as tatting.

The story continues that she pricked her finger one day and a drop of blood spilled onto a piece of lace.The wildflowers are supposed to have a tiny red or purple flower in the center, though the ones around my house (see above photo) did not. 

Did you know that Queen Anne's Lace is a member of the wild carrot family? 

Please don't dig up the ones you see and try to eat the carrot root. 
They become woody when they are old and are similar to hemlock (ie, poisonous).

It is also reputed to be a contraceptive.

 So next time you drive down the road or take a walk around your 
neighborhood, look for these airy flowers and notice how delicate and lacy they are.

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