Too wet to mow, so our farm lawn was full of dandelions that had transformed from their bright yellow flower to a light gray fluff, shining in the evening light. While most people would look at them with distain, referring to them as weeds, my grandson was excited to discover so many wishing flowers. I like how he thinks!
…summer on the prairie.
Beauty in more ways than one…
Not surprisingly, the flower called Queen Anne’s Lace originated in Europe and was given its name for the lacy nature of the flower head. It was very popular during the reign of who other than……. Queen Anne.
According to legend, Queen Anne was tatting white lace. (Tatting is the all-but-lost art of making lace by hand.) The beautiful white lace she was tatting became the white lacy flowers of the wild carrot plant. She pricked her finger and one drop of blood oozed out. This became the central dark red or purple sterile floret that is present on some, but not all, Queen Anne’s Lace flowers.
Legends disagree as to which Queen Anne was tatting such lovely lace. Some say it was Anne (1574 – 1619), the first Stuart Queen Anne, who was brought over from Denmark at fourteen years of age to be a Queen to King James of Scotland. Others argue it was Anne (1665 – 1714), the daughter of William and Mary, and the last monarch in the Stuart line. Both Annes died in their forties.
Queen Anne’s Lace was brought to North America by early European settlers as a medicinal herb. Also known as Wild Carrot, this wildflower is easy to grow, and is prolific in spreading its seeds by the wind. It can be found growing wild along roadsides and in fields almost anywhere in the U.S. ~ The Gardener’s Network
Western Salsify (T. dubius Scop.) and Meadow Salsify (T. pratensis L.) are the most common species of this plant that looks like a giant dandelion. Western Salsify is native to Europe and Northern Africa and was brought to North America as a garden vegetable for its carrot like taproot and “oystery taste”. Since then it has spread to roadsides, old abandoned fields, no-till field, pastures and other undisturbed areas. ~ btny.purdue.edu
Eaten raw, the roots are very bitter; fried, roasted, or boiled, the taste of salsify roots have been compared to that of parsnips. Others say they slide down like oysters, hence its common moniker, oyster plant. Cream the roots in a soup or simmer young stalks in butter for a side dish rich in Vitamin B6. ~aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com
I’m O.K. with parsnips, but oysters? No thanks!!