Summer brings abundance, if not excess, of everything: zucchinis, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, lightning bugs, hummingbirds, ripe, juicy peaches, wild blackberries, festivals, picnics, perspiration, swimming in the lake. I can’t even say what I love the most about summer, so I’ll pick just one: wildflowers.
They are ubiquitous, even in the city. Any abandoned lot, a crack in the sidewalk, a river bank, will sprout their seeds.
Right now, I see an ocean of white lacy saucers suspended on tall green stalks everywhere I go. Lacking the color burst of other, more splashy, wildflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) compensates with her intricate, lacy flowerhead that’s really an accumulation of many tiny flowers.
Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as Wild Carrot for it’s edible white root that smells like carrot. However, before you start digging up wildflowers, be aware that Queen Anne’s Lace is part of the parsley family which contains the highly toxic Poison Hemlock. You really would not want to confuse these two plants.
Queen Anne’s has a very flat flower cluster with characteristic bracts below the flower cluster. It often also has a dark purple floweret in the very center of the white lacy cluster.
When the flower cluster is done blooming, it curls itself into a cup-like shape that resembles a bird’s nest:
To me, a field of Queen Anne’s Lace warmed abundantly by sun and swarming with insects is the epitome of Summer. Please take a look at a much earlier post with a meadow full of this elegant wildflower and a poem to go with it.
This post was created in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’.