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Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Queen Anne’s Lace, another Apiaceae

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Queen Anne 1

In the UK this is Wild Carrot, in the US this is Queen Anne’s Lace, however the USDA lists it as a noxious weed even though it is a beneficial companion plant for tomatoes, so on the Farm at Walker-Jones, we have tons of it!  As a member of the family Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae) it is closely related to several herbs: angelica, anise, caraway, chervil, cicely, coriander (cilantro), cumin, dill, fennel, lovage, and parsley.

Queen Anne 2

In the second photo you can see the unique single red flower in the center of the white-flowered umbel, very likely a beacon for pollinators, but also explained as the droplet of blood when Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle while making the lace.

Allowing Queen Anne’s Lace to self-sow amidst the field in which we intercrop the Allium family (onions, leeks, and garlic) and other Umbelliferae (carrots and parsnips) further attracts both beneficial insect predators as well as helping to confuse the respective onion and carrot flies, a strategy that assists us in our organic crop management.

umbra, Latin “shade” ~ umbella, Latin “sunshade” ~ umbel, English Hort. “an inflorescence consisting of a number of flower-stalks or pedicels, nearly equal in length, spreading from a common center, their summits forming a level, convex, or concave surface”