Life awaits beyond the beaten path
Queen Anne's Lace
Apiaceae – Carrot, Celery, or Parsley family
A biennial herbaceous plant. The first year plant consists of leaves arranged in a basal rosette pattern. The recognizable umbel flower-head is not produced until the second year.
Up to 3 feet high; perhaps taller under optimum growing conditions..
First years leaves appear in a rosette of 5 - 9 lacey fern-like multi-compound leaves. Second year plants have a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves with fine hairs on the leaves.
The stems are consistently green, and covered in tiny hairs. They DO NOT have the noticeable white bloom indicative of poison hemlock. They are also NOT mottled or any color other than green.
The white, thin, flexible, taproot has a strong carrot smell.
White umbel-shaped flower head consisting of numerous tiny white flowers borne in a cluster
The wild carrot looks like it's cultivated counterpart the carrot. They are different strains of the same species; wild carrot is Daucus carota while the cultivated carrot is Daucus carota sativus.
Water Hemlock and Poison hemlock are just that, extremely poisonous look-alikes. Do not use Queen Anne's Lace unless it meets all of the characteristics described on this page, and not even one of those shown in the pictures outlined in red below. Failing to follow this direction could very well have deadly consequences. Socrates used a tea made from poison hemlock to commit suicide. There is also a modern day society which advocates assisted suicide which calls itself the Hemlock Society.
I wrestled with whether or not I should include Daucus carota in this website. I finally decided that it's common widespread appearance necessitated it's inclusion. Once you take the time to recognize the characteristics of Queen Anne's Lace, you will not mistake anything else for it. Think of it like lettuce and cabbage. They both grow in head's, and are green. Once you become familiar with the characteristics of Queen Anne's Lace you would no more mistake it for poison hemlock than you would mistake lettuce for cabbage.
Open areas, roadsides, fields, waste areas, forest edges
Root, Stem, Leaves of first year plant
Wild Food Uses:
The young stems can be peeled and eaten raw, or used as a cooked vegetable. They have a very pleasant carrot flavor. The leaves and stems of the first year plant have a very nice flavor and can be eaten in salads, or as a cooked vegetable. The taproots of the first year, or early second year plant may be used in any manner you might a cultivated carrot. I have added the root to salads, soups, and stir fries. It is one of my favorite wild vegetables.
The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.
THE FOLLOWING PICTURES ARE OF WATER HEMLOCK AND POISON HEMLOCK ALL PLANTS PICTURED BELOW ARE TOXIC AND SHOULD NEVER BE GATHERED
Water Hemlock (Cicuta virosa)
Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)