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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