The Queen Anne Lace herb, also known as wild carrot, is a biennial wildflower herb found in many parts of the United States. Native to the European continent, the plant is now commonly found across the states of Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Minnesota, and Illinois in the United States.
The Queen Anne Lace flowers are botanically known as Daucus Carota. They belong to the Daucus genus of the Apiaceae family and are a relative of the carrot or root vegetable, Daucus Carota Sativus. This wild herb is commonly found in meadows, drylands, fields, waste areas, and along the sides of roads. It is considered to be an invasive species with efforts to eradicate the plant from some regions due to its aggressive propagation and spread.
Despite its invasive nature, the Queen Anne Lace flower makes for a stunning and captivating bloom. It is a beautiful addition to any wildflower garden. The minuscule, pristine white flowers of the Queen Anne Lace plant are radially symmetrical. They are arranged in flat-topped clusters or umbels that measure approximately 2-5 inches in diameter. An umbel is a flower composed of several umbellets or small clusters of flowers at the end of a stalk and joined together at the base. The umbel derives its name from an upturned umbrella which is the shape that the Queen Anne Lace flowers take as they bloom upwards from a common point on a stalk.
Each umbel consists of approximately 20-30 flowers. The creamy white flowers of the Queen Anne Lace plant have five petals each and are very tiny. They measure about one-eighth of an inch. In the center of each cluster or umbel is a distinct tiny single dark reddish-purple flower. This dark purple flower in the center of each cluster is what gives the Queen Anne Lace flower meaning its significance.
Growth and Care
The Queen Anne Lace flowers bloom during their second year from late spring to mid-fall between the months of June and September. They can grow to a height of about 1-4 feet (31-120 cm.) and have beautiful fern-like foliage. The plant is extremely hardy and can thrive in various climate conditions. The Queen Anne Lace plant adapts to a variety of soils and prefers well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. It also grows well in a dry environment under conditions of full sun to partial shade. It requires little care, minimal watering, and no fertilizer.
When growing the Queen Anne Lace flowers in your garden, it is a good idea to restrict the spread of this plant. These plants will require some kind of boundary. It is best to deadhead Queen Anne Lace flowers before the seeds can disperse and encourage the spread of this plant.
What do Queen Anne Lace Flowers Symbolize?
The Queen Anne Lace flowers derive their name from Queen Anne, the Queen of England and wife of King James I. She was believed to be an excellent and highly skilled lacemaker. When issued a challenge in court by her friends to make lace as beautiful as the flowers of the wild carrot, she accidentally pricked her finger in the process with her needle. A single drop of her blood fell onto the center of the lace. It is said that the single dark purple floret in the center of the flower represents her blood. The Queen Anne Lace flower meaning also derives its significance from this historical anecdote.
The Queen Anne Lace flower is also known as the wild carrot. In the past, the taproot of this plant was used as a substitute for carrots in soups and stews. The plant is also known as Bishop’s Lace or Bird’s Nest. The latter name is derived from its nest-like appearance when the flowers fade, dry up and curl into a bird’s nest-like clump to shelter its spiky fruit.
In the language of flowers, the pristine or milky-white Queen Anne Lace flower meanings stand for sanctuary, haven, refuge, protection, fantasy, and fertility. The flowers are symbolic of meanings tied to femininity and a sense of security and growth.
What do the Various Colors of the Queen Anne Lace Flower Mean?
The true Queen Anne Lace flowers are clusters of creamy or pristine white flowers with a tiny and distinct single dark red or dark purple bloom in the center. The ‘Dara’ variety of the Queen Anne Lace flowers come in hues of pink and burgundy with fern-like leaves. But the most common variety of the Queen Anne Lace flower is white in color.
What does the Queen Anne Lace flower meaning represent? What are these flowers symbolic of? The white wild carrot flowers are associated with sanctuary, fantasy, and fertility.
Sanctuary or Haven
Also known as the Bishop’s Lace or Bishop’s flower, Queen Anne Lace flowers symbolize sanctuary or a haven. They represent a sense of safety, security, and refuge. The symbol is also associated with its bird’s nest-like appearance when the flowers dry up and curl into a nest-like shape to protect the plant’s fruit. This is symbolic of the safety, refuge, and love associated with a happy home or shelter.
The delicate and dreamy lace-like appearance of the Queen Anne Flower is associated with its use in beauty spells. In the past, these flowers were used in bath and beauty rituals with the hope of attracting one’s desired partner and fulfilling one’s deepest fantasies of love and romance.
Lust and Fertility
The Queen Anne Lace flower meaning of fantasy is also closely associated with lust and fertility. The beauty of these flowers is said to signify fantasies of attraction and lust. They are also symbolic of the fertility associated with loving and affectionate unions between couples.
Purity of Intent
The Queen Anne Lace flower is also representative of purity of intent. In the past, the purity of intentions in magic spells cast by women was said to be represented by the Queen Anne Lace flowers. It was believed that a Queen Anne Lace plant would thrive and bloom abundantly if planted by a woman with pure intentions who was true to herself.
Unfortunately, the Queen Anne Lace flower has also earned itself the negative connotation of the devil’s plague. This negative Queen Anne Lace flower meaning comes from a terrible superstition. According to this superstition, it is said that a person who brings the wild carrot flowers to someone’s home brings death to his or her mother!
Despite this unfortunate reference, the Queen Anne Lace flower meanings are derived from the beauty and elegance of the blooms and represent a sense of refuge, protection, fantasy, love, and fertility.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Queen Anne Lace Flower
As a relative of its popular culinary counterpart, the carrot, the Queen Anne Lace plant’s taproot was used as a substitute for carrots in various dishes in the past. The long taproot of the plant in its first year can be cooked and eaten. The stem and leaves of this plant are said to give off the sweet smell of carrots when crushed.
According to Old English superstition, the dark reddish-purple floret in the center of the Queen Anne Lace flower cluster was believed to be a cure for epilepsy. During Queen Anne’s time, the plant’s seeds were used as a natural aphrodisiac, contraceptive, and cure for indigestion, diarrhea, and colic. The seeds of the plant are still used as a remedy for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, water retention, gall bladder issues, and joint pain in some parts of the world.
The ancient Romans are believed to have consumed the plant as a vegetable. American colonists made wine from the boiled taproots. The roots were also roasted for making coffee while the plant was boiled to make herbal teas and concoctions. As a substitute for carrots, the young roots can be used in stews, soups, stir-fries, and savory food dishes. In some places, the flower clusters are fried and eaten in salads. The oil from the plant is used as a flavoring agent in candies, baked goods, beverages, and frozen desserts.
An interesting and important point to keep in mind is that the Queen Anne Lace plant must be distinguished from a similar-looking plant called poison hemlock. The poison hemlock, or Conium Maculatum, is a poisonous and deadly herb that must not be consumed. It is very important to know how to differentiate between the two plants. One thing to look out for is the smell of the plants. The poison hemlock and its cousin, fool’s parsley, smell foul and disgusting. The Queen Anne Lace plant, on the other hand, smells like a sweet carrot. Also, the poison hemlock has a smooth stem while the wild carrot has a fuzzy or hairy stem. The only note of caution when growing wild carrots is that the plant can cause allergic reactions or skin irritations in sensitive individuals.
Best Time to Gift Someone Queen Anne Lace Flowers
The Queen Anne Lace flower makes for an ideal and beautiful addition to wildflower and cottage gardens. They are also excellent cut-flowers and can complement and fill floral bouquets for a wide range of occasions. Their lace-like appearance makes them a great accompaniment to bridal dresses and can be added to bridal bouquets and décor for a rustic and bohemian vibe. They can also be used in table décor or as complements to larger flowers such as carnations, roses, or tulips in bouquets and vases.
The dainty lace-like flowers are also associated with romance, royalty, and queens. The Queen Anne Lace flowers can be presented as a gift to the special women in your life. They are great romantic gifts or tokens of admiration that can be given on birthdays, anniversaries, and on Valentine’s Day. They also make for excellent gifts to women on the occasions of Women’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Alternatively, the dried flowers can be used to make bookmarks, scrapbooks, or greeting cards for gifts and home décor. The small and minuscule flowers are also ideal for resin jewelry, pendants, and keychains.