Photo: John-Morgan (Flickr)
The biennial plant Queen Anne’s lace is known in Britain as “Wild Carrot.” In the US, depending on the region, you may hear it referred to as “Cow Parsley,” “Fool’s Parsley,” or “Bird’s-nest Plant.” Its Latin name is Daucus carota which means “resembling the carrot.” The plant grows happily in fields and roadsides and likes sun and dry soil.
The white flower umbels, look like lacy umbrellas and are a romantic addition to informal bouquets. They dry well if the flowers are picked before the seeds ripen. They can be hung upside down or dried in Silica Gel. Queen Anne’s lace is one of the flowers that the caterpillars of the Eastern black swallowtail butterfly love to eat.
So if you like butterflies you may want this drought tolerant airy plant in your wild flower garden. Just be sure to put it in a well drained spot where there is plenty of space for it to self sow. The flowers can also be colored if their stems are placed in a container of water mixed with food dye. If you can, find a young child to do this for fun.