Queen Anne’s Lace
Other names: wild carrot, bird’s nest, bishop’s lace
Family: Apiaceae (Carrot Family)
Range: Native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia. Introduced to North America and Australia. It is considered invasive in some states.
Native Habitat: Thickets, grassland, and waste areas.
Bloom Time: Summer
This really is a wild carrot. Domestic carrots are the cultivar Daucus carota subsp. sativus. You can theoretically eat this version, but it’s far woodier than the carrot we’re used to.
This is one of my favorite flowers. You can find it in pretty much any field locally (I happen to find many of my fields near beaches for pictures, but this will show up in any grassy or disturbed area that isn’t mowed often.) I remember being able to pick them at school recess, in the back of the field.
D. carota was introduced and naturalized in North America, where it is often known as “Queen Anne’s lace”. Both Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and her great grandmother Anne of Denmark are taken to be the Queen Anne for which the plant is named. It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center is thought to represent a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace.