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Queen Ann's Lace as an ornamental?

Alfred Falk falk at arc.ab.ca
Fri May 31 14:25:24 EST 1996

In article <4ok4sm$fnc at ultra.sonic.net>,
   vulpia at sonic.net (Nancy Harrison) wrote:
>In article <4o54sl$g6q at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, fafardbob at aol.com says...
>>I am experimenting with Queen Ann's Lace as an ornamental in Central
>>Florida.It is niw in full bloom (end of May).  Looks great? Has anyone
>>else tried this and selected for desireable traits?
>What is the scientific name? Here in Calif, "Queen Anne's Lace" is
>Daucus carota, a widespread weed. But once at our local Farmer's Market,
>I saw a lady selling what she called "Queen Anne's Lace", but it was
>Conium maculatum...Poison Hemlock!

Common names are tricky and potentially dangerous.  In most of North America 
"Queen Ann's Lace" is usually _Daucus carota_, which is your ordinary garden 
carrot gone wild (or feral).  It's a biennial, blooming in it's second year 
which is why you don't see the flowers in your vegetable garden.  In the 
wild, the attractiveness of big juicy roots to rodents and such like, 
quickly selects against that trait.

I have been told by a botanically competent native of San Francisco, that in 
northern California, "Queen Anne's Lace" is usually applied to some 
poisonous plant, _Heraclitium_ sp, I think (Hellebore?).

Never trust common names.  

Alfred Falk                       falk at arc.ab.ca              A L B E R T A
Information Systems Dept          (403) 450-5185            R E S E A R C H
Box 8330, Station F                                           C O U N C I L
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6H 5X2
http://saturn.arc.ab.ca/~falk/                     http://www.arc.ab.ca/

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