Queen Anne’s Lace
This flower was named in honor of Queen Anne of England, who was an expert lace-maker. A tiny dark center in tiny white flowers was said to symbolize a drop of blood from the queen’s finger when she pricked it while making a lace doily.
A multitude of tiny white flowers form an umbrella-shaped center, creating a prop for many a child’s outdoor play. Despite its delicate lacy looks, Queen Anne’s Lace seems ubiquitous, springing up in many a dry field and beside many a road.
It has been used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, most notably as birth control (chemicals in the plant’s seeds are an abortfacient).
This beauty was even the subject of a poem by William Carlos Williams.
(Information and photograph: Virginia Wildflowers virginiawildflowers.org.)