Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) otherwise known as Wild Carrot is part of the Apiaceae family of plants or commonly called the Parsley Family. Until recently, I never touched Queen Anne’s Lace for fear that it may be a poisonous relative – hemlock to be exact! One is edible while the other, well you know the story of the Greek philosopher, Socrates? Sentenced to death by drinking the poison hemlock, yikes!
This year I finally, FINALLY decided to really look into that pretty wild carrot flower and see how hard really it was to identify it. Pretty, darn easy….seriously….if you pay attention to the color and texture of the stem, the leaf type and the flower. See Queen Anne’s Lace has something special in the very center of the flower, not ALL the flowers but if you find that special mark then you definitely got the correct plant. So what is that special mark?
Look closely at this picture, not my pic but it is from the Edible Wild Foods website –
What do you see?
No, it is not dirt or a bug it is a dark colored flower in the center! Well in this case there looks to be two or three. Another cool thing about the flowers – when one starts to get old, instead of turning brown, it starts to close up like a this -like a birds nest!
Whereas Poison Hemlock turns all brown
The stems – this picture is credited to Darryl Patton, The Southern Herbalist
It looks pretty obvious, doesn’t it? BUT still make sure you have help the first few times to be sure!!!
So what are the benefits? For one thing EAT IT!!! It has a white carrot root but you should dig it up early spring otherwise now, here in the South as it is in flower, it would be tooooo woody. The flowers can be battered and friend, mmmmm or make a jelly from the flowers like I did.
I cleaned all the blossoms of critters – 😀 then measured out 4 cups of blossoms. I added 7 cups of boiling water, slightly cooled for 5 minutes. Cover and steep for 30 minutes and strain.
I measured about 6.5 cups of the infusion into a clean pot. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice, stir and add the pectin(approxiamtely 6 Tablespoons or two boxes). I used low sugar pectin but you can use regular as in the original recipe from Edible Wild Foods. Stir really, really well with a whisk!
Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then add your sugar, in my case of low sugar, I added 2 – 2.5 cups. Bring up to a boil again and cook for 1 minute. Test the consistency. My set up quite fast!! Have jars ready, fill, wipe clean, add lids and process in water bath canner for 5 minutes for 8 ounce jars.
Medicinal Benefits GALORE!!! Here is a list of what I found, although not tested by me yet.
You know the saying, ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? A wild carrot a day, might keep death away!” Hmmm…that’s what I read.
Queen Anne’s Lace is known to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, hangover preventative, migraine remedy, expectorant, antihistamine, helpful for the kidneys and liver, cancer preventative and much, much more. Read here for more info! As soon as I have some experience with this plant medicinally, I will let ya’ll know!
- 4 cups fresh QAL Blossoms
- 7 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 boxes or 6 Tablespoons pectin
This made 6 half pints plus a 4 ounce jar.
Go find a knowledgeable friend and pick some Queen Anne’s Lace! Have a great day –