Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lace for the Queen

When I was small, we always called Queen Ann's Lace a chigger bush.

Chiggers are a type of mite that bites your legs and makes you itch.

Apparently my mother was not the only one who advised her children to stay away from this particular weed for this reason. I googled "chiggers" and found where other people were asking the question on yahoo.

One article I read this morning said this weed is edible. And then I learned that this plant is not native to North America. It came here from Europe. It is actually a type of carrot! So the root is indeed edible.

However, the plant leaves are toxic.

And there are those chiggers, too.


  1. Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorite late summer flowers. I'd never heard of it called chigger bush before, but I guess all those little flower could harbor a gazillion chiggers.

  2. Oh ya... a mouth full of chiggers would not make my day. Or my week since those bites take a while to heal. Lovely photo though. xox Have a great day.

  3. Somewhere I recall reading that this plant was related to the carrot family, but the info on chiggers was some new info, which is good to know.

  4. I love Queen Anne's Lace (also called cow parsley over here), bugs or no bugs. It always makes me think of this beautiful poem, by Philip Larkin:

    Cut Grass

    Cut grass lies frail:
    Brief is the breath
    Mown stalks exhale.
    Long, long the death

    It dies in the white hours
    Of young-leafed June
    With chestnut flowers,
    With hedges snowlike strewn,

    White lilac bowed,
    Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace,
    And that high-builded cloud
    Moving at summer's pace.

    We've been enjoying the equally lovely (and scented) Meadow Sweet more recently.

  5. Oh, so that's where we're getting all the chigger bites from!

    I was just writing about Queen Anne's lace. It reminds me of snowflakes.

  6. I have read that the natives used it for birth control but I know some people who have tried it and it's not THAT reliable.

    What about that one black petal?

  7. I never heard of the chigger name for this flower, but it makes sense. We learned all about chiggers in Virginia when our third daughter came home from hunting with her legs covered in bites. They took forever to heal! Nastiest things ever.
    I like the tiny dark flower in the center of each Queen Anne's Lace.

  8. Edible or not, its still beautiful. I've never seen one in person. We don't have those in our country. So I can't tell if its toxic, a chigger or edible. But base on how it looks its harmless.

    - acfi calculator -

  9. Queen Anne's Lace is very beautiful. I wanted to plant that one too but I can't find anywhere.


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