Queen Anne's Lace: Weed or Flower?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Queen Anne's Lace is something I don't see very often in people's gardens, although this one in the photo was an exception. I was surprised to find it growing in a nearby plot.

Most of the time, I only see Queen Anne's Lace growing alongside of roads or in the grassy median between highways. So do most people think of it as a weed rather than a flower?

As a kid, I always liked picking the Queen Anne's Lace that grew near my home. I would marvel at the mosaic of miniature white petals that made such an elaborate, lacy flower -- as intricately complex and unique as a snowflake -- ensconced in delicate green tendrils.

For me, Queen Anne's Lace was, and always will be, classified as a flower -- not a weed. But I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One person's weed is another person's wildflower.
~Author Unknown

A weed is but an unloved flower.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Blogger Stunned Donor said...

I have Queen Anne's Lace growing along my driveway and it's definitely a flower to me.

10:30 AM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

Wildlife love it, so it's definitely a flower to them. I put one in a big pot on my front steps. I don't know what that's going to be like. Hopefully, it'll appreciate the sun and the drainage and do okay w/ the winds.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you know if you put Queen Ann's lace in water, with food coloring it will take on the hue of the food coloring.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else.’

I think the above is very true ... whatever is growing in your garden, looks good and you want it to be there ... it’s no weed ... no matter what anyone else says!

4:44 AM  
Blogger Diana LaMarre said...

Interesting question.

Although I think it's a lovely bloom, it's a weed to me and a very invasive one at that. I have spent years digging it out and will probably spend the rest of my life fighting it.
I know many who like it in their garden, so I guess it's only a weed if you have too much of it, like I do.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was never a weed when I couldn't get it to grow in my city garden, however, I moved and there it was growing perfectly in my new garden. Since then it has become a weed for me. Queen Anne's Lace wants to reign in the garden and I have to pull her or she'll take over. I like her carrot root smell and she has a pretty face, but she can't stay in the garden anymore, she's too bossy.

8:43 AM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

Have people had weedy problems with other Eriogonums?

12:56 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

It's interesting to read everyone's responses. I didn't realize Queen Anne's Lace was so invasive, so now it makes sense why I don't see it used in people's gardens more often.

Chuck B.,
What are Eriogonums?

1:15 PM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

Whoops... my bad. I thought we were talking about St. Catherine's Lace, not Queen Anne's.

Time for me to have some coffee. Past time.

(Eriogonum is the genus name for buckwheat.)

2:05 PM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

St. Catherine's Lace pictures. It's kind a similiar, right? ;/

2:09 PM  
Blogger Harvest said...

I have a gallon suntea jar stuffed full of Queen Anne's Lace flowers right now - some not yet fully opened, most fully opened, and some immature flower heads. I will drink some of that sun tea, but most will be made into Queen Anne's Lace Jelly, complete with two small flower heads per jar. You can also batter and fry the flowers, either as a side dish or a sweet. And they make fabulous pressed flowers for cards and such. The mature seed heads can also be used in dry arrangements and wreathes. The flowers also attract beneficial insects - the ones who eat aphids and white fly - so they will always have a place in my garden.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Chuck B.
I never heard of St. Catherine's Lace. I've learned something new.

I didn't realize Queen Anne's Lace could be used for tea or jelly. What is the flavor like?

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jelly? Oh how delightful! Also I had no idea that you could make tea from it.

Please share you secrets!!!

Also, HOW can I dry the flowers after I have changed their color? I want to design a Christmas arrangement and maybe a wreath made from Queen Anne's Lace~


9:12 AM  
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11:05 AM  

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