Skip to Content

Queen Anne’s Lace – Weed or Wildflower?

If you enjoy Queen Anne’s Lace but can’t seem to find any in your area, you can learn all about Queen Anne’s Lace and learn about it’s look alike that might be more readily available to you. Keep reading to learn everything you didn’t know you wanted to learn about Queen Anne’s Lace and it’s look-alike flower. 

*This post contains some affiliate shopping links for your convenience.  Please see my full disclosure statement HERE!

Summer Queen Anne's Lace Flower Arrangement

What is Queen Anne’s Lace? 

Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot or bird’s nest, is an edible weed with a long history. Its scientific name is Daucus carota and it was named after the Queen Anne of England.  One of the interesting markings is the tiny red flower in the center which is thought to represent a drop of blood where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace.  

It is a member of the Apiaceae family, which also includes parsley, celery, and carrots. The plant is native to Europe and Asia but can now be found in most parts of North America. Its white lacy flowers can reach up to three feet tall when in full bloom during June-August months. 

I was interested to read that Queen Anne’s Lace was used as a companion plant to other crops.  It provides shelter to nearby plants and attracts predatory insects that eat pests like caterpillars.   In this case, it was referred to as a “beneficial weed”.  

Is Queen Anne’s Lace Edible? 

The Queen Anne’s lace leaves part of the plant are edible and have a mild sweet flavor similar to that of parsley or celery. In early spring, young leaves make a nice addition to salads or soups. 

Later in the season, the leaves become tougher and less palatable but still packed with nutrition and flavor. The root (available year round) can be boiled like potatoes for a vitamin rich side dish. 

Queen Anne’s Lace has been used for centuries by herbalists for medicinal purposes such as treating digestive issues or helping with labor pains. More recently it has been gaining traction among holistic practitioners as an alternative treatment option for issues like inflammation and allergies due to its medicinal properties

No matter when you find it growing around you this summer, Queen Anne’s Lace is an impressive plant with amazing health benefits and uses that will no doubt bring beauty to any outdoor space!

What does Queen Anne’s Lace look like? 

 Queen Anne’s Lace looks like a delicate white flower made up of many small florets. The flowers can grow up to two feet tall and have lacy leaves that make it stand out in the garden. The white part of the Queen Anne’s lace plant look like a little piece of lace. To some people it may also look similar to baby’s breath

The plant thrives in sunny or in partial shade areas with moist, well-drained soil. Queen Anne’s Lace has small purple spots or small purple blotches near the center of each flower. These are often mistaken for petals but are actually nectaries – they contain nectar and attract beneficial insects to the plant. 

Is Queen Anne’s Lace a weed or a flower? 

So, based on what I discovered, the common variety that I see along the side of the road, is indeed a weed!  But, it’s pretty just the same!  I will say that it really doesn’t smell pretty.  That’s why I’m planning to purchase some Ammi Majus seeds for my flower garden next year!  

The arrangement shown above is simply two branches of wild Queen Anne’s Lace and some Solomon’s Seal branches from my own flower garden!  

Is Queen Anne’s Lace a biennial plant

Yes, Queen Anne’s Lace is a biennial plant. This means that it takes two years to complete its life cycle, with the first year spent growing foliage and the second year producing flowers. The flower heads of Queen Anne’s Lace often self-seed in late summer and early autumn, resulting in new plants being produced

Queen Anne's Lace - Weed or Wildflower?


The common native Queen Anne’s Lace is quite invasive and not something you would want in your own flower garden.  With that being said, if you really enjoy the look of Queen Anne’s Lace but don’t want to introduce an invasive species to your garden, you may be excited to learn about the Queen Anne’s Lace look-alike called Ammi Majus.

Queen Anne's Lace Products for Sale

What is Ammi Majus? 

Ammi Majus, also known as Bishop’s Weed, is a member of the Apiaceae family and closely resembles Queen Anne’s Lace. Ammi majus can be grown as an annual plant in any climate and is incredibly easy to grow from seed.

Ammi majus has many health benefits that make it an ideal addition to your flower garden. It has been used traditionally in herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and antispasmodic effects. Studies have also found that Ammi majus contains compounds that can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, as well as certain metabolic disorders.

What does Ammi Majus look like? 

Ammi Majus is an annual plant that grows to a height of 1-2 feet and has green, fern-like foliage. The flowers look similar to Queen Anne’s Lace and are white or pale pink in color. 

How can I get Ammi Majus seeds?

 You can purchase seeds for Ammi Majus, to bring it to your own flower garden!

What are the similarities and differences between Queen Anne’s Lace flowers and Ammi Majus? 

The main similarity between the Queen Anne’s Lace flower and Ammi Majus is the shape of their flowers. Both plants have white or pale pink, flat-topped flower clusters made up of many tiny individual blossoms. The main difference between them is that Ammi Majus has a more feathery look to it, with its fern-like foliage, while Queen Anne’s Lace has finer, more lacy leaves. Additionally, Ammi Majus tends to have larger and more noticeable flower heads than Queen Anne’s Lace.

Is Ammi Majus poisonous?

No, Ammi Majus is not poisonous. However, it is important to note that some people may be sensitive or allergic to the sap of the plant, so it’s best to wear gloves when handling this plant. Additionally, while the seeds and leaves are edible, they can have a laxative effect on some people if consumed in large amounts. Be careful handling this flower if you have sensitive skin

Is Ammi Majus an invasive plant

In many areas, the Queen Anne’s lace plant is considered an invasive flower, but the Ammi Majus is not, that is why it is preferred in gardens over queen anne’s lace flowers. It’s a good idea to use either in your flower arrangements since you’ll be picking them and not continuing to grow them. 

Most of the time Ammi Majus is not considered invasive, but if left on its own in open fields it may easily become similar to it close relative, Queen Anne’s Lace, and start becoming an invasive weed

How many growing seasons does Ammi Majus last?  

Ammi Majus is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its growth cycle. Most of the year in that cycle is spent as a dormant rosette and only during the second year will they begin flowering. Thus, you can expect Ammi Majus to last for two full growing seasons before needing to be replaced. 

What are the best practices when handling Ammi Majus? 

When handling Ammi Majus, it’s important to wear gloves and long sleeves or other protective clothing as some people may experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction from its pollen or sap.

Additionally, you should avoid crushing the stems, leaves, or flowers of Ammi Majus as this can cause the plant to be damaged.

Lastly, you should always keep Ammi Majus in an area that is well-drained and not overly wet or dry, as both extremes can harm it. Following these practices will help ensure that your Ammi Majus stays healthy for its full two growing seasons.

What to know about planting either of these? 

The key difference between Queen Anne’s Lace and Ammi Majus seeds is that Ammi Majus takes much longer to germinate. Queen Anne’s Lace typically takes 2-3 weeks to germinate, while Ammi Majus can take up to 8 weeks or more! 

Additionally, when growing from seed, it is important to note that Ammi Majus has a lower germination rate than Queen Anne’s Lace. Thus, in order to ensure success when planting Ammi Majus from seed, it is important to sow the seeds thickly and keep them moist during the germination period. For best results, seed should be sowed in early spring, late spring or late summer

Once established, Ammi Majus can produce much larger than Queen Anne’s Lace. It produces white umbels of small flowers in the summer, which are attractive to beneficial insects such as bees and hoverflies. The flowers also make excellent cut flowers for bouquets or arrangements. 

Shop some Queen Anne’s Lace items

For those of you who love Queen Anne’s Lace as much as I do, I found some pretty items for you and your home!    You can use the links below to shop any of these items!  My favorite is the necklace!!!

Pillow by Primitives by Kathy

Preserved Flower Necklace

Wallpaper by York

Fine Art Print by James Christensen

Wall Hanging by Primitives by Kathy

Fine Art Print by Lisa Russo


What are some other Queen Anne’s Lace look alikes? 

Some people think that Queen Anne’s Lace flowers can also look like poison hemlock (Conium Maculatum), giant hogweed (Heracleum Sphondylium), yarro (Achillea Millefolium), wild parsnip (Pastinaca Sativa), or golden Alexander (Zizia Aurea)

For those of you who love Queen Anne’s Lace as much as I do, I found some pretty items for you and your home!    You can use the links below to shop any of these items!  My favorite is the necklace!!!


Queen Anne's Lace - Weed or Wildflower?

You might also like these posts:

DIY Flower Food to Keep Blooms Fresh Longer

Easy Tulips and Eggs Centerpiece

How to Make an Angel Vine Topiary




Thursday 19th of August 2021

Hello, just a word of caution. Hemlock looks like the picture you have. Research before picking between Hemlock and Queen Anne's Lace. I love Queen Anne's Lace. Thank you. Louise


Sunday 13th of June 2021

Hi Doreen, please check out the ammi magus seeds as they're suppose to be toxic to cats. I know you have a cat 🐈!!


Friday 4th of June 2021

It grows wild in Tennessee also. It was always called “chigger weed” and we never thought of it as flowers😊. Probably because while playing outside in weeds and grass, we often were bitten by the little bug known as chiggers. My mother would have never made bouquets with it though, as she would have thought the bugs would be on the flowers. It looks so pretty though, may have to try using it!


Friday 4th of June 2021

Hi, Judy. I live in Tennessee as well, and chigger weed is what we have always called it! It's beautiful, but I have always been afraid to pick it!


Wednesday 12th of June 2019

Luv Queen Ann's Lace - and I've been know to pull off to the side of the road to pick a bouquet! I've never planted it in my yard because I've heard it can be invasive. Thanks for this post - pinning and following! Have a lovely day.

Angie Chavez

Friday 7th of June 2019

Hi Doreen, I'd love to see you link up at Talk of the Town. I miss seeing you at the party! It's every Tuesday at 6 pm CST. at Knick of Time