Forage Friday #15 – Queen Anne’s Lace

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for this article. The Title of the photo is Queen Anne’s Lace On Peter’s Creek 7319. All of the photos on my blog are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

One of the first wild edible plants that I ever learned was Queen Anne’s Lace. I imagined myself as Tarzan living in the jungle and surviving on what nature provides. One had to be careful when collecting this “exotic” wild edible. It has an infamous impostor. Poison Hemlock! The quickest way to tell the difference is by a single tiny floret in the center of the cluster. The guide books all point to the red dot in the center of the cluster. However, the textbook example is most often found in the textbook and not in field.

In the next photo you can see the the “red dot” is almost black.

Here you can see the the center floret is almost black.

I have an understanding that the soil ph is the reason for the difference. The stem is also hairy. The amount of hair can also vary depending on the soil and genetics.

Poison Hemlock has purple splotches on a hollow stem where Queen Anne’s Lace has a solid fibrous stem.

The root is the part that you eat. Queen Anne’s Lace is in fact a wild carrot. Domestic carrots have undergone massive amounts of selected propagation for flavour and nutrition. Like most wild food you might need to adjust your expectations. The seeds are usually strong flavored and are sometimes used like a spice.

In closing, please do further research and remember that my blog is about the photos and Forage Friday is only intended to be an interesting conversation starter. If you confuse Queen Anne’s Lace with Poison Hemlock the results could be life threatening.

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The Providence Of God & Walking With My Grandfather

Some of my most cherished memories are the long walks with my grandfather. He was World War Two veteran who walked with a cane due to shrapnel that was embedded in his leg but that never seemed to slow him down. He would come over to our little house trailer which was next door to his house and invite me to help him check on the cattle. He was also a survivor of the Great Depression and on our walks he would teach me about the things that they used to do to stretch the budget. One their best resources was the wild edible plants that are found in abundance in Appalachia. Pictured here is Chicory. All parts of the plant are edible. The leaves are eaten as a salad green and the roots are roasted and then ground into a coffee substitute. ( no caffeine). The blue petals if Chicory are a natural litmus test. When exposed to an acid they change from blue to red.

In the background of the image is Queen Anne’s Lace. ( the white flowers). Now, you have to be careful about collecting it because there’s also poisonous look-alikes such as hemlock. Queen Anne’s Lace usually has one tiny little blood red flower in the center of all that white. How’s it used? Well, I’m pretty sure that most of the world already knows because it’s simply a wild carrot. The root doesn’t really look like what you buy in the store or raise in your garden. It is small, white and kinda bland. But, it is a carrot none the less.

Most people look at the plants that grow without any help from humans and all that they see are weeds but I see the province of God and hear the voice of my grandfather.