Queen Anne's Lace
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Why should we care?
How to Identify
- The leaves of this plant may be poisonous if ingested and handling may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. It is considered as a serious pest in pastures. It invades disturbed dry prairies, abandoned fields, waste places, and road sides. It is a threat to recovering grasslands and can be persistent on clay soils.
About Plant and Where it came from
- Biennial herbaceous plant, 3 to 4 feet tall, consists of one or several hollow stems, growing from one central stem, each with an umbrella-shaped flower cluster at the top. Plant smells like a carrot, it is the ancestor of the garden carrot. Appears as rosette in its first year. The leaves are alternate, starting immediately below the flower, increasing in size down the stem. They are pinnately divided (leaflets are arranged on both sides of a common stalk). The flowers are compound, flat-topped umbels (small umbels within a large umbel) umbels becoming concave when mature; bloom May through October. The roots consist of a slender, woody taproot that is carrot-like in smell and taste.
How to Control
- Daucus carota
- A native of Europe and Asia and now occurs throughout the U.S.
- This plant has barbed small seeds, promotes dispersal by animals and wind, seeds stay viable in the soil for 1–2 years.
- Queen Anne’s Lace’s name is said to be derived from one of the two Queen Anne’s (Queen Anne of England and Anne of Denmark) that have been among the British Royalty. Both women were reputed to be champion lace makers. While no one is certain which Anne the plant is named after, whoever she was, she pricked her finger and a drop of blood is responsible for the distinctive tiny purple center of a Queen Anne’s Lace flower. Queen Anne’s Lace has also been known as “Mother Die” because of an old superstition that bringing this into your house would kill your mother.
- Cultural control: Hand-pulling or mowing in mid to late summer before seed set.
- Biological control: This plant’s numbers tend to decline as native grasses and herbaceous plants become established.