When I was a kid growing up in Missouri, this was one of my favorite flowers. The name alone was captivating, bringing to mind images of royalty, and this flower certainly has a regal appearance. Also known as bird’s nest, bishop’s lace, and wild carrot, it is thought that this plant was used to culivate the modern carrot. The root can be eaten in the early spring, but soon gets too tough and woody to consume. The 6 inch flowers are held proudly aloft on 3 foot high plants, and bloom from June through September.
A native of Europe and western Asia, it was brought to America by the early colonists, and is now naturalized.
If planted near tomatoes it increases production, and if planted near lettuce, it provides a small area of cooler moister air for the lettuce. Sadly for all its beauty and useful purposes, it is considered a noxious weed. It takes over pastures, and is considered mildly poisonous to cattle and horses. The name is derived from the story about Queen Anne, who when making lace pricked her finger causing it to bleed, and if you look close in the center of each large flowerhead is a single dark red teeny weeny flower.