Family: Apiaceae

Scientific Name: Daucus carota

Common Name: Queen Ann's Lace, Wild Carrot, Birds Nest, Devil's Plaque

DescriptionAlthough considered a weed because of its aggressive habit of growth, it still is a very handsome plant when in bloom. Flat lacy white flowers are found at the top of the plant.
Plant TypeWeeds
Sunlightfull
Moistureaverage to dry
Soil & Siteaverage, disturbed areas, fields, roadsides
FlowersFlat clusters of tiny white flowers called umbellets forms the lacey umbel at the top of the plant. A black to purple floret can be found in the center. Green bracts underneath the umbel are deeply and narrowly lobed. The plant is a biennial and produces a prolific amount of seeds. The curled dry flower head is often called a bird’s nest. (#138)
Leavesfern-like, bi or tripinnate
Stemscovered with hair
Rootsdeep tap root
Dimensionsup to 3'
PropagationIn my Biology classes we would grow these from collected seed and they seemed to germinate readily with little or no special needs. But germination percentage was better with cold stratification.
Native SiteEurope
Misc FactsThe flowers are used in floral arrangements, along with the dried seed heads. The root can be dried, ground and use as a substitute for coffee. Daucus is from the Greek word dais, which means to burn. Probably because of its acid tasting roots. Carota comes from the word carrot. Queen Ann's Lace is named after Queen Ann of England (1702-1714) who liked to have lace on her dresses. According to legend the reddish central flowers are came from Queen Ann when she pricked her finger sowing (#138) An escaped plant from European flower beds. The Swallowtail Butterfly frequents this plant along with over 60 other insects.
Author's NotesAfter being a professional garden weeder for over 25 years I consider Queen Ann's Lace to be one of my least concerns. I have pulled few in my gardens. It can be found in the lawn forming flat rosettes of ferny foliage. It is most prolific in disturbed areas but will quickly lose ground to other more aggressive plants.
Notes & Reference#7- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Newcomb), #14-Hedge maids and Fairy Candles (Jack Sanders), #41-Wildflowers of Wisconsin ( Stan Tekiela), #138-Parsleys, Fennels and Queen Ann's Lace (Barbara Perry Lawton)