Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (2024)

Home » Flower » Queen Anne’s Lace – Symbolism and Meaning

Dani Rhys

November 2, 2020

Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (2)

Table of Contents

  • About Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Myths and Stories about Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Meaning and Symbolism of Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Uses of Queen Anne’s Lace throughout History
  • Queen Anne’s Lace in Use Today
  • When to Give Queen Anne’s Lace
  • In Brief

One of the dreamiest flowers you can have in your garden, Queen Anne’s lace features umbrella-like blooms, a favorite among butterflies and bees. Here’s how this flower gained a royal name, along with its significance and practical uses today.

About Queen Anne’s Lace

Native to northern Europe and Asia, Queen Anne’s lace is the wildflower herb from the Daucus genus of the Apiaceae family. Usually they’re found in meadows, fields, waste areas, along roadsides and dry lands. They typically bloom from late spring until mid-fall and grow about 4 feet in height. In some regions, they’re regarded as an invasive weed and a threat to recovering grasslands.

Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (4)

Botanically, these flowers are called Daucus carota or wild carrot—and are a relative of the root vegetable, D. carota sativus. In the past, the roots of Queen Anne’s lace were used as a substitute for carrots. It’s said that their stems and leaves smell like carrots when crushed. While its culinary cousin has large, tasty roots, Queen Anne’s lace has a small woody root, especially when its flowers have already bloomed.

Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (5)

Queen Anne’s lace flower heads have a beautiful lace-like pattern, consisting of tiny, creamy white blossoms and sometimes a dark red bloom at the center. However, the ‘Dara’ variety flaunts its pink and burgundy hues with fern-like leaves. When their flowers fade, they curl up into a bird’s nest-like clump, hence it’s also called the bird’s nest plant.

  • Interesting Fact: It’s said that Queen Anne’s lace smells like carrots, but it shouldn’t be confused with the roots of hemlock, the Conium maculatum, and of fool’s parsley, the Aethusa cynapium, which smell disgusting and is extremely poisonous.

Myths and Stories about Queen Anne’s Lace

The wildflower was named after Queen Anne of England, but it’s unknown which Anne the legend refers to – Anne Boleyn, Anne Stuart, or the Anne of Denmark. The story goes that the queen was an expert lace maker, and had an affinity for the wild carrots in the royal garden because of its lacy appearance.

One day, she challenged the ladies of the court to a competition to see who could create the most beautiful pattern of lace as lovely as the wildflower. As a queen, she wanted to prove that she was the best of them all. It’s said that Queen Anne created her handiwork using the finest threads and needles, while her competitors made use of wooden bobby pins and coarse threads.

Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (7)

However, she pricked her finger with a needle, and a drop of blood stained the white lace she was sewing. The drop of blood on her creation perfectly matched the red dot at the center of the flower, so she was declared the winner of the competition. Since then, the wildflower with a speck of red became known as Queen Anne’s lace.

Meaning and Symbolism of Queen Anne’s Lace

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Queen Anne’s lace is associated with various symbolism. Here are some of them:

  • A Symbol of Fantasy – Queen Anne’s lace boasts its dreamy and delicate lace-like appearance, making it associated with beauty spells. In the past, it had been incorporated in ritual baths, in hopes of attracting love and fulfilling one’s fantasy.
  • “Do not refuse me” – The flower has been used to signify the purity of intentions in magic spells. There’s even an old superstition that says that if the wildflower is planted by a woman who is true to herself, it will thrive and bloom in the garden.
  • Haven and Sanctuary – Sometimes referred to as the bishop’s flower, Queen Anne’s lace is associated with safety and refuge. On the other hand, the curling of their flower heads is often likened to a bird’s nest, which reminds us of the love and commitment it takes to build a happy home.
  • In some contexts, Queen Anne’s lace is also associated with lust and fertility. Unfortunately, it also has a negative connotation and a terrible name – devil’s plague. This comes from a dreadful superstition, which says that picking and bringing the wildflower to someone’s home will bring death to his or her mother.

Uses of Queen Anne’s Lace throughout History

For centuries, the wildflower has been used in a variety of ways, including in medicine, for cooking and in rituals.

In Medicine

Disclaimer

The medical information on symbolsage.com is provided for general educational purposes only. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice from a professional.

In an Old English superstition, the red floret at the center of Queen Anne’s lace was believed to cure epilepsy. Back in the day, seeds of Queen Anne’s lace were utilized as a natural contraceptive, an aphrodisiac and a remedy to colic, diarrhea and indigestion. In some regions, it’s still used as a diuretic for treating urinary tract infections, including kidney stones, water retention, bladder problems, as well as joint pain.

In Gastronomy

It’s thought that the ancient Romans ate the plant as a vegetable, while the American colonists boiled its roots in wine. Also, teas and infusions were made from the herb and the roots were roasted and grounded for making coffee.

The roots of Queen Anne’s lace are edible when young, which can be added to soups, stews, savory dishes and stir-fries. The oil from Queen Anne’s lace is utilized for flavoring beverages, baked goods, candies, gelatins and frozen desserts. In some regions, its flower heads are even fried and added to salads.

Queen Anne’s Lace in Use Today

Queen Anne’s lace is ideal for cottage gardens and wildflower meadows, but they also make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers. Its beautiful lace-like pattern will complement any bridal dress, making them a romantic flower of choice in bouquets and aisle decor. For rustic weddings, Queen Anne’s lace can be used as an alternative for greenery.

As table decor, the wildflower will add interest to any aesthetic. Just place them in wine bottles, jars and vases, or incorporate them in showstopping floral arrangements. If you love arts and crafts, use dried Queen Anne’s lace for scrapbooking, making bookmarks and greeting cards, as well as home decorations. Their blossoms are dreamy and dainty, which are also ideal for resin-made jewelry and keychains.

When to Give Queen Anne’s Lace

Since these flowers are associated with royalty and queens, they’re a romantic gift for the queen of your heart on her birthday, as well as on anniversaries and Valentine’s Day! For Mother’s Day and baby showers, Queen Anne’s lace can be incorporated into bouquets with other traditional blooms, including carnations, roses and tulips.

In Brief

Queen Anne’s lace’s lacy, white flower clusters add beauty to the fields and meadows during the summer season. This wildflower is the perfect addition to floral decorations and bouquets for a touch of the bohemian and the rustic.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Introduction

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information on various topics, including Queen Anne's Lace. I can provide you with information about the flower's symbolism, meaning, uses throughout history, and its significance today. Let's explore the concepts mentioned in this article.

About Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace, also known as Daucus carota or wild carrot, is a wildflower herb from the Daucus genus of the Apiaceae family. It is native to northern Europe and Asia and is typically found in meadows, fields, waste areas, along roadsides, and dry lands. The flower blooms from late spring until mid-fall and can grow up to 4 feet in height.

Myths and Stories about Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace was named after Queen Anne of England, although it is unclear which Anne the legend refers to. The story goes that Queen Anne, who was an expert lace maker, had an affinity for the wild carrots in the royal garden because of their lacy appearance. She challenged the ladies of the court to a lace-making competition and pricked her finger with a needle during the process. A drop of blood stained the white lace she was sewing, perfectly matching the red dot at the center of the flower. Since then, the wildflower with a speck of red became known as Queen Anne's Lace.

Meaning and Symbolism of Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace is associated with various symbolism. It is seen as a symbol of fantasy due to its dreamy and delicate lace-like appearance. In the past, it was incorporated into ritual baths in the hopes of attracting love and fulfilling one's fantasies. The flower has also been used to signify the purity of intentions in magic spells. There is an old superstition that says if the wildflower is planted by a woman who is true to herself, it will thrive and bloom in the garden. Additionally, Queen Anne's Lace is associated with safety, refuge, and the love and commitment required to build a happy home. In some contexts, it is also associated with lust and fertility. However, it is important to note that the flower also has a negative connotation and is sometimes called "devil's plague" due to a superstition that picking and bringing it to someone's home will bring death to their mother .

Uses of Queen Anne's Lace throughout History

Queen Anne's Lace has been used in various ways throughout history. In medicine, the red floret at the center of the flower was believed to cure epilepsy in an old English superstition. The seeds of Queen Anne's Lace were also used as a natural contraceptive, an aphrodisiac, and a remedy for colic, diarrhea, indigestion, urinary tract infections, and joint pain. In gastronomy, the plant was eaten as a vegetable by ancient Romans and its roots were boiled in wine by American colonists. The roots are edible when young and can be added to soups, stews, savory dishes, and stir-fries. The oil from Queen Anne's Lace is used for flavoring beverages, baked goods, candies, gelatins, and frozen desserts. The flower heads can also be fried and added to salads. Today, Queen Anne's Lace is used in floral decorations, bouquets, and as table decor. It is a popular choice for rustic weddings and can be used as an alternative to greenery. Dried Queen Anne's Lace can be used for arts and crafts, such as scrapbooking, making bookmarks, greeting cards, and home decorations. The blossoms are also suitable for resin-made jewelry and keychains.

When to Give Queen Anne's Lace

Due to its association with royalty and queens, Queen Anne's Lace can be a romantic gift for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and baby showers. It can be incorporated into bouquets with other traditional blooms like carnations, roses, and tulips.

In conclusion, Queen Anne's Lace is a beautiful and versatile flower with a rich history, symbolism, and practical uses. Its delicate appearance and lacy pattern make it a favorite among butterflies and bees, and it adds beauty to gardens, floral decorations, and bouquets.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with!

Queen Anne's Lace – Symbolism and Meaning - Symbol Sage (2024)

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