Reigning over the Roadside Flora

QA LaceHere she is — not Miss America, but the very regal Queen Anne’s Lace, one of the prettiest of roadside flowers. And the pollinator looks like a goldenrod soldier beetle, out weeks before the goldenrods that it’s named for.

Also known as Wild Carrot, a subspecies of this plant is the one from which cultivated carrots were developed. The root, when young, is edible, but it soon becomes woody as the plant ages. A biennial, each plant blooms during the second and final year of life. Queen Anne’s Lace is a non-native and is considered a noxious weed in some states. I personally can’t look at this lacy inflorescence without thinking about how delighted little children can be to see the pink or blue color the cut flowers turn when food color is added to the water in their vase.


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