Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne's Lace. Daucus carota.
Apiaceae, (formerly umbellifereae), the carrot, parsley or umbel family.

Plant: A hairy, branching, upright plant, 1'-3' high topped with broad heads of tiny white flowers, with strong carrot-like odor. Biennial.
Flowers: Flat-topped clusters (compound umbels) of tiny white flowers 3"-5" across, borne singly on slender stalks. Often there is a single dark red floret in the center of the head.
Leaves: Highly dissected; fernlike, 2"-8" long. Mostly basal, alternate on stalk.
Fruit: Hairy seeds contained in fronds that curl inward to form a "bird's nest".
Blooming: Late May until frost, most abundantly in June and July.
Habitat: Fields and open areas. Common along roadsides, mixed with chicory in midsummer.

Comments: Sometimes called wild carrot, Queen Anne's lace is an introduced plant and the ancestor of the cultivated carrot. A hardy biennial, flowering the second year, it is sometimes a troublesome weed. The roots are reputed to be edible, like cultivated carrots, but are generally so fibrous as to be unpalatable. Possibly there are tender varieties, but I have not found one.

Where to find it: Common in open areas throughout the park.