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Queen Anne’s Lace is the common name used for a variety of plants that share similar characteristics: flowers with a flat-topped, lacy white umbel and delicate foliage. Its foliage makes it a favorite in floral arrangements as a filler. The wild species, daucus carota, is growing everywhere in parts of the US at this time of year, and has been labeled invasive in many States. Although I still find it pretty growing by the roadside (and even in parts of my garden), I thought it was time to learn about some of its more well-mannered relatives.
A word of caution: Hemlock also resembles Queen Anne’s Lace but is poisonous to humans and animals if any part of the plant is ingested. Because of the risk of confusion it is not advisable to eat any plant that looks like Queen Anne’s Lace.
Here is a chart with images that shows some of the alternatives to wild Queen Anne’s Lace. All of the plants listed are part of the Apiaceae or Umberiferae family, to which carrots, parsley and celery belong. In this family the flower is usually an umbel and often white. There is a cultivar of daucus carota, ‘Dara‘, bred with multi-colored umbels, a departure from white!