Queen anne’s lace meaning

Queen Annes Lace

Native to Europe

The Queen Anne Lace Flower has its origins in Europe and was given its name due to its lacy look. Legend says that Queen Anne, who was the wife of King James I, was challenged by her friends to create lace that would be considered as beautiful as a flower. However, when she was attempting to make the lace, she pricked her finger. That represents the purple-red flower that is at the center of Queen Anne’s Lace. The flower is also known by another name, which is Wild Carrot because of its similar shape root and the fact that some even say it smells a bit like a carrot. It also goes by the name of Bishop’s Lace or Bird’s Nest due to the nest-like appearance of the bright white and rounded flower when it is in full bloom). The fruits of Queen Anne’s Lace are considered to be spiky and they also curl inward to make what appears to be a “birds’ nest” shape. The symbolic meaning for Queen Anne’s Lace is that it represents sanctuary.

It grows quite easily as a wildflower as its seeds spread easily and quickly in the wind, leaving many new flowers next to roads and throughout fields across the United States. Many find this an attractive flower, but others simply see it as a pest like a weed due to the fact that, once it settles in, it pushes out other wildflowers. The flowers are either white or pink with a small, purple-black floweret in the center. Although some say it is okay to eat this cooked, others say it is not a good idea. This is because the Queen Anne Lace Flower often is mistaken for the poisonous plant, Hemlock, because of how similar the two look.

Growing Recommendations – Queen Annes Lace

These are considered very easy to grow because there is not much maintenance or care that is required if any at all. Simply take seeds and toss them into a field or dirt area. By the following year, the Queen Anne’s Lace Flowers will be everywhere. They can thrive in poor soils and even dry conditions. The only real requirement that they have is that they like to be in areas that have full sun. It does blooms from May to October. Queen Anne’s Lace is considered to be a biennial, which means that it can live for two years. The first year is considered its growth period while the second year is its blooming period. It can grow between three and five feet tall, depending upon growing conditions.

Photos of Queen Annes Lace

Return to Listings

Queen Anne’s Lace

All About the Queen Anne’s Lace Flower

If you are looking for a unique flower, you should check out Queen Anne’s Lace. This is a great flower that a lot of people really enjoy, there are many different things that people will do with this flowering plant and generally most people really enjoy it. Most of the time, people are using this mainly for purposes of edible purposes, but there are other things that people can do with Queen Anne’s lace. Make sure that you understand about this flower, where it came from, how to grow it, and what it can be used for, this way you are an expert on it.

Description of the Queen Anne’s Lace Flower

The funny thing about Queen Anne’s lace is that it has such a fancy name, but all it is in actuality is a wild carrot. It is also known by a lot of other names including bird’s nest, bishop’s lace, and a few others. This is a biennial plant that grows about three feet tall and is going to flower all through the summer. You will find Queen Anne’s lace in Asia, North America, Australia, and parts of Europe with the correct climate. While this isn’t a carrot, you aren’t going to have the plant that will grow a carrot, the root smells like a carrot and that is where it gets its name. You will also see small budding flowers that are generally white but occasionally a red flower will appear in the center.

Uses for the Queen Anne’s Lace Flower

More people use Queen Anne’s Lace for other things instead of just growing the plant, there are a lot of other uses for it. While it looks great, you may find that it has better uses than that. The best part about Queen Anne’s lace is that it is edible. The root is actually the edible part and it has been used for many different things. It is said that the root can actually be used for contraception and will help with that. Aside from that, there are many other herbal remedies that it has been tied too. People also use this as something that they plant with their crops because it will actually help to keep the pests away from the crops, so it is a beneficial weed.

Why do people plant the Queen Anne’s Lace Flower ?

The thing with Queen Anne’s lace is that it is a flower that has definitely been cultivated over time, this is something that people like to grow and that people want to grow in their yards. It is something that you will see growing throughout gardens instead of just in the wild. As with any plant that you are growing, you want to make sure that you are growing it in the correct soil and giving it the amount of water that it needs. Knowing how to properly grow Queen Anne’s lace is going to make a huge difference in the way it looks and if it is able to grow where you have planted it.

Queen Ann’s Lace (Daucus Carota)

Queen Ann’s lace is best known as the wild carrot or bird’s nest. These soft blooming plants are biennial, meaning they last two years. This may also mean that it can take up to two years for it to bloom.

It is grown in many parts of North America and in much of Europe. It is fairly hardy and can be introduced easily to nearly any garden. It can be fairly easy to grow and will spread in any conditions.

Queen Ann’s Lace Species Information And Hybrids

In many areas, daucus carota is considered to be a common pest. It grows rapidly and will spread quickly through pastures and fields. In many areas, this species is considered to be a weed and mowed.

Problems often arise as the seed bank will remain in soil for years. This means plants may grow for up to five years after their removal. This can make them difficult to remove in areas they are not wanted.

The wild carrot seeds are also often confused with true carrot seeds. As seeds look nearly identical they may become mixed up in packs. This may cause incorrect sorting and lead to the wrong plant growth.

An annual species has been introduced to combat the invasive problem. The flowers are very similar but they are not biennial like others. New plants are simply grown from seed every year then cut down.

Annual seeds make it easier to grow Queen Ann’s lace in gardens. These blooms also attract butterflies, making them a popular choice. Butterflies are attracted to both annual and biennial seed versions.

Its accessibility and durability make Queen Ann’s Lace a popular choice for elegantly accenting floral arrangements. Especially available in areas like Westminster, CA, Wichita Falls, TX, Joliet, IL, Boulder, CO, and Green Bay, WI, this flower’s appearance is sought after with flowers like roses and lilies to give them a more pronounced look.

Growing Conditions For Gardens And Containers

In the wild, growing conditions are fairly minimal for rapid growth. Soil conditions are less of a concern in the wild, allow more plants. As a result, blooms may not appear as full as in a garden setting.

Garden annuals are often given better soil conditions to thrive in. Well drained soil that is not too rocky or clay filled is optimal. Soil should not be too acidic or alkaline for the best bloom show.

Full sun can be used but a partial sun location is often the best. Full shade or full sun may lead to a decrease in blooms or growth. Partial shade may also be recommended for those using containers.

Water needs are average to minimal depending on the species used. Over watering is a common problem that should be avoided for plants. Soil should be moist to slightly dry before watering them again.

Larger containers can be used to grow these for patio ornaments. Some may also choose to line patios or fences with these soft blooms. They can create a delicate level of privacy that attracts butterflies.

Popular Meanings And Symbolism For Daucus Carota

This delicate bloom represents sanctuary and security when given. These blooms are often used as a filler in many cut arrangements. They can create a delicate backdrop for roses or other deep blooms.

When used on their own, they can demonstrate serenity and peace. The association with royalty and queens make them ideal for mothers. These may make a good choice for a baby shower or new mother.

They are also used with dry arrangements as a light filler flower. Similar to live bouquets, dried flowers are fragile and need care. Sprays of Queen Ann’s lace can give dried blooms a good contrast.

About author

Anybody in the florist or flower industry knows what a filler flower is. For those who are not familiar with this term, basically, what it means is flowers used to fill in the gaps and spaces in an arrangement. They are by no means the focal point of an arrangement and are simply used to give the bouquet a full, rich appearance. A popular example is Baby’s Breath. However, so many people become tired of using Baby’s Breath and they turn to alternatives like Queen Anne’s Lace instead.

The story behind Queen Anne’s Lace flowers is quite interesting. It is said that Queen Anne was making lace by hand, a process known as tatting, and her lace became the flowers we know today. While tatting the lace, she pricked her finger and out came a single drop of blood. The drop fell on the lace and this is where the dark center of some of the flowers comes from. Although it is agreed that this is the story of Queen Anne’s Lace, what isn’t as clear is which Queen Anne it was. Some say it was Queen Anne born in 1574 and others say it was Queen Anne who was born in 1665.

There are some superstitions surrounding this flower and some believe that if you pick this flower and take it into your home, your mother will die. Others believe that the plant will thrive if planted in the garden of a woman who is true to herself.

In history, Queen Anne’s Lace flowers have been used as a diuretic. They were used to help pass and prevent kidney stones. The seeds were even used as a form of contraceptive. This is still practised today in India where the women chew the seeds every day as a way of reducing their fertility. Even the root of the plant can be consumed as you would any other root such as carrots. This is probably where the name Wild Carrot comes from.

No matter which part of this plant you choose, it is useful in so many ways. Not only can it be used for medicinal purposes but also as a source of nutrients and the umbrella shaped flowers make them attractive enough to be added to a number of different arrangements. You can even slide them in your hair to finish off just about any hairstyle with a gentle touch.

Depending on where you live in the world, these plants are seen as either blessings or pests. If you find that your garden is being overrun with Queen Anne’s Lace, it is simple to cut them back and control the growth. Simply take a walk in your garden with a bucket and sharp pair of scissors or sheers and trim the plant back. Place all the plant material in the bucket and be careful not to spill the seeds on the ground. Once you have done this, you can then decide how you want to use the trimmed plant matter.


Queen Anne’s (or Ann’s) lace is an alternative name for cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) in the British Isles, and the common name of wild carrot (Daucus carota) in North America.

As Britten and Holland fail to list the name in their Dictionary of English Plant-names (1878-86) it appears that it is a comparatively recent one. The Dictionary includes three ‘Queen Anne’ names:
Queen Anne’s flowers, given to wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) in Norfolk.
Queen Anne’s needlework, given to pencilled crane’s-bill (Geranium versicolor) in Northamptonshire, presumably with reference to its whitish petals with their magenta veins.
Queen Anne’s thrissel , given to musk thistle (Carduus nutans) in Berwickshire.

The delicate white flowers of cow parsley (and wild carrot) resemble lace, but why Queen Anne’s lace, and which Queen Anne?

Grigson suggests that the name might have originally referred to St Mary the Virgin, or her mother, St Anna (or Anne) .

It is usually assumed that the Anne referred to in the name is Queen Anne (1665-1714; reigned 1702-14). Although she had many pregnancies, Anne left no surviving children. According to an Essex woman who contributed to P-LA in May 1983:
‘My mother called cow parsley kill-your-mother-quick, and would never allow it in the house – or she would die. Queen Anne’s lace is generally understood to refer to its lace-like appearance, but also her (Queen Anne’s) tragic child losses.’

An article in tgo of June 2012, states that the name relates to ‘Queen Ann’s practice of travelling in May, when the plant appears, leading folk to believe the roadsides have been decorated especially for her.’

Phillips confuses cow parsley with wild carrot and states that the name Queen Anne’s lace is ‘supposed to be derived from the wife of James I … friends challenged Queen Anne to create lace as beautiful as a flower. In her attempt to do this she pricked her finger and the purple-red in the centre of the Queen Anne’s lace represents a droplet of her blood’ .

The flowers of cow parsley are uniformly pure white, but inflorescences of wild carrot usually have a solitary dark purple flower near the centres. So this legend undoubtedly refers to the latter.

A North American writer gives a similar legend, but does not identify which Queen Anne is involved: ‘the Queen was making lace when she pricked her finger. The center floret of the flower represents a drop of blood from the Queen’s finger’ .

Any other explanations of the name would be appreciated.

Comment: From Bill Blanchard, Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A., July 2019: ‘My grandson told me that Queen Anne was Anne Boleyn, sometimes pictured with a lace collar, and the red spot indicates where her head used to be.’

Images: main, cow parsley, Brompton Cemetery, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, March 2014; inset, wild carrot inflorescence showing central red flower, Faversham, Kent, July 2015.

Updated 7 July 2019.

In the intense heat of midsummer, abandoned fields and untrimmed roadsides sometimes quite unexpectedly burst into flower. Perhaps it is August’s furious thundershowers that provide the environmental cue, but many plants put on their best show when it is 90 degrees and muggy. Even heat-stressed New Yorkers stop to stare at these free pop-up shows. And from their expressions, it is quite likely the first time they have noticed a particular forsaken lot in its profuse bloom.

Though there are notable exceptions, these urban openings are generally composed of tough plants, both native and not, that thrive in poor, dry soils. Queen Anne’s lace, also known as wild carrot, prefers conditions like these, in bright full sun.

Daucus carota describes both the familiar orange cultivated carrot and its unkempt feral twin. Though the point of transition from wild plant to garden variety has been lost to history, the close kinship between the two can be detected by the aroma. Simply pull one up and smell it. Eating a wild urban carrot should be done carefully, always considering where it was harvested, but simply scratching the root with your fingernail is enough to make your mouth water. In fact, even the leaves and stems of the plant smell like carrots.

Carrot flowers are easy to identify. They are exceptionally showy and delicate, conveying the same sturdy innocence as a daisy. Yet each flower head is actually composed of many tiny flowers displayed in a flat-topped umbel (an inflorescence in which each flower stalk emanates from a single point). To me, their symmetry makes them look like enormous snowflakes, windblown at the least likely time of the year. Obviously, to others they give the impression of fine lace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *