pretty petals – queen anne’s lace

August 22, 2013

Welcome to week sixteen of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. Its mid-August and Queen Anne’s Lace is growing everywhere – let’s admire it up close!

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Ddaucus carota is known as Queen Anne’s Lace in North America. It goes by many other names in other parts of the world such as Wild Carrot, Birds-nest, Fool’s Parsley and Bishop’s Lace. It is a flowering plant from the parsley (Apiaceae) family and is native to temperate regions of Europe, Southwest Asia and is naturalized to North America and Australia. Domesticated carrots are cultivars of Queen Anne’s Lace – this simply means that Queen Anne’s Lace has desirable qualities for cultivation and therefore commercial carrots have been propagated from this weedy ditch-growing flower. The roots of the Queen Anne’s Lace smell like carrots, but because they lack beta carotene they are white in colour instead of orange. Queen Anne’s Lace can grow up to a meter high.

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How did Queen Anne’s Lace get its name? I’ve always just assumed that it had something to do with a person of royalty. Well, I’ve been wrong all this time! It is said to be names for Saint Anne, patron saint of lace-makers. One day while making lace, she stuck her finger with a needle. A small drop of blood fell onto this flower, leaving a dark mark in the center that can still be seen on this flower today.

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Queen Anne’s Lace is a wild and weedy flower synonymous with late summer blooms. The delicate nature of the florets on this plant are a perfect match for the uncontrived, natural look that bridal bouquets and floral designs alike are trending towards. Adding a touch of Queen Anne’s Lace to a flower arrangement will instantly soften the look.

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Next time you are out for a walk and you see these delicate beauties growing uninhibited, you should think about cutting a stem or two for a vase at home – everyone deserve to be surrounded by beauty.