Queen Anne's Lace is so common a roadside flower in Wisconsin few people know it's a non-native, invasive species. Native to Europe, I was once told that its name refers to Queen Anne of England, an expert lacemaker who was said to have pricked her finger, leaving a small stain in the middle of her work. If you look carefully, you'll find many Daucus carota flowers have a small purplish spot at their center that looks more like a little insect than a bloodstain. The spot may serve to attract pollinators.
Also known as 'wild carrot," its roots are edible and sweet in the first season and smell just like carrot. If you are not greeted by a carrot-y smell, don't even think about trying this wild edible. Another plant, Conium maculatum, or poison hemlock, looks similar and is deadly. Probably best to just leave both plants alone and enjoy their beauty!
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2022 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.