Queen-Anne’s-Lace (Daucus carota)

Queen-Anne’s-Lace (Daucus carota) Information

By Ronnie Dauber, Garden Guides Contributor Queen Anne's Lace is an aggressive biennial weed native to Europe but now found throughout North America, and is referred to as, "the Class C Noxious Weed." It lives for only two years and so doesn't establish deep roots masses. However, it produces an abundance of seeds with tiny hooks that get caught up by the wind or on to animals or clothing and spreads at an uncontrollable rate, becoming almost impossible to eradicate. The roots are edible when very young, and look and smell just like cultivated carrots. The drawback to this beautiful and regal wild plant is that it closely resembles that of two very toxic and dangerous plants, namely the Poison Hemlock and the Western Water Hemlock.

General Characteristics

Queen Anne's Lace is of the same family as the carrot and parsley, (the Apiaceae family), and bears the familiar feathery, finely divided leaves on stems ranging from 2 to 4 feet in height. It blooms with showy white flowers that are shaped like an umbrella, and made up of many small florets in a lace-like pattern. The plant contains flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins B and C, pectin, lecithin, glutamine, phosphatide and cartotin and a vitamin A precursor,all of which are the ingredients to making an herbal tea,along with other medicinal properties.

Growing Conditions

Queen Anne's Lace grows in well-drained ground such as sandy and gravely soils, and prefers direct sunlight.

Cultivation and Care

Queen Anne's Lace grows very quickly and requires little to no maintenance. Plants can be harvested in the spring for the edible roots, or in July when the flowers can be picked and dried to be made into tea, or in the fall to gather the seeds. These plants are a danger because the leaves can be considered toxic since they contain furocoumarins, which can infect the skin with dermatitis, and because the seeds when chewed can cause harm to an expectant mother.

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