Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Queen of Wild Flowers
There are many tales about how this flower got it's name. One was that it was named for Saint Anne, the mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus. Another that it was growing in the royal gardens when Queen Anne became the wife of James the 1st. Queen Anne was an accomplished lace maker and she had a contest for her ladies in waiting. The maid who could make lace as beautiful as the flower would have the flower named after her. The Queen won the contest and forever after the flower has been known as Queen Anne's Lace. There is a tiny flower in the middle..... of red or purple. It is said that the queen pricked her finger, while making lace, and it dropped on the flower...thus giving the flower this little bit of red in the center.
I love all these old stories and I don't know what the real story is....we'll never really know.
The wild flower has graced our country roads....coming from England. It attracts the caterpillars of various butterflies, and also lady bugs, and many beneficial insects. It's taproot is where the carrot came from. The leaves, when rubbed, smell like parsley. It is a biennial and the 2nd year the plant can reach as high as six feet.
I've never had anything to do with farming...other than eating the food that is grown in the fields. I realize that farmers have to get rid of weeds....although I worry about all the chemicals and weed preventative things that they do to ensure a good yield. I do wish, however, that the roadsides could be a little bit more like the days when I was a barefoot girl with pigtails, picking bouquets along country roads.