Friday, August 7, 2009

Queen Anne's lace

With dainty circular clusters of tiny white flowers, Queen Anne's lace is one of the leading characters in Sicily's summer wildflower display. A single red flower sometimes seen at the center of the flat bloom head serves to attract pollinating insects. As the flower cluster matures and produces seeds, it rolls inward to form a rounded, tan-colored 'bird's nest' shape. This wild ancestor of the cultivated carrot, classed as a variable biennial, has slender, erect and hairy stems 1.5 to 3 ft (0.5 to 1 m) tall and a large taproot that smells like a carrot.

Scientific name: Daucus carota
Italian common name: Carota selvatica
English common name: Queen Anne's lace, Wild carrot

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