Queen Anne’s Lace-The Legend of this Delicate Flower

Queen Anne’s Lace always makes me think of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Diana Barry tucks a sprig of the summer flower into her best friend Anne’s hair. She tells Anne, “This is the very last of the Queen Anne’s Lace of the summer.” She then says, ” Don’t worry about your hair. No one even notices it anymore.” Her tender gesture and reassurance speaks to the sweet and inseparable bond of friendship between the girls.

From Anne of Green Gables, Diana Barry tucking a spring of Queen Anne's Lace into Anne's hair.

I think it is one of the prettiest wildflowers of summer. Every year I look forward to the sight of the dainty and delicate white flowers that decorate roadsides and fields.

Queen Anne's Lace flower.
Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as wild carrot.

I recently read the story about how the flower got its name. Legend says that Queen Anne, b.1574 (wife of King James I of England and Scotland), was tatting with her friends when one of them challenged her to create a piece of lace that was as beautiful as a flower. Anne accepted the challenge, but while working, she pricked her finger with her needle, and a drop of her blood fell onto the lace. It is said, therefore, that the tiny purple-red flower in the center of the “lace” represents the droplet of her blood.

Queen Anne's Lace flower.
Can you see the purple flower in the center?

Another version of the tale says that the story refers not to Anne, wife of King James I, but Queen Anne of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Ireland), b.1665.

A field of Queen Anne's Lace flowers.
Queen Anne’s Lace growing in the field across from my home.

Either way – the 1574 Anne or the 1665 Anne – it’s a good story.

Cheers,

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