The Mountain Princess Tomato
Appalachia Through My Eyes - Clothes On The Line

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace has dotted the roadsides and fields with white where I live. According to legend-Queen Anne was tatting lace when she pricked her finger and left a dot of blood in the center of the lace-hence the dark spot that can be found on some Queen Anne's Lace flowers.

I always associate Queen Anne's Lace with chiggers. I swear when I was little Granny told me to never touch them or I'd get chiggers all over me. Maybe she was just warning me to stay out of the grassy fields or I'd get chiggers-but in my mind I thought she said Queen Anne's Lace = chiggers.

Craft with queen anne's lace

Earlier this summer, I was reminded of an old craft/project we used to do with Queen Anne's Lace blooms. I decided to see if it was still as fun as it was when I was young.

How to craft with wildflowers

All you need is-water, a few vases/bottles, food coloring, and of course Queen Anne's Lace.

Dying flowers with food color

First mix your choice of food coloring with water-then add Queen Anne's Lace blooms to the water. As the flower takes in the water-the blooms will begin to change color to the hue of the water.

How to dye flowers with food coloring

I only had red and green food coloring on hand-so I colored a red bottle of water-a green one-and a mixed up one that looked sorta purple.

Folklore about queen annes lace

The white Queen Anne's Lace looked so pretty sitting in the vases of colored water-that I almost didn't want them to change color.

Red dyed queen anne's lace
After 2 days-I ended up with a lovely barn red Queen Anne's Lace;

Dying queen anne's lace with food coloring

the sweetest mint green;

Fun and easy summer time craft
and a dusty pink color.

A very simple project-but lots of fun to try with small children-or mother's of teenagers like me.

Check out Dave's Garden for more interesting information about Queen Anne's Lace.


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I made my first batch of Queen Anne's Lace jelly this evening. It's lovely shell pink color. The taste is lemony from the lemon juice added to the pectin I suppose, but light and lovely. Now if it sets up I'll be totally thrilled. I'm hoping to give away for Christmas presents. I'm so glad that you had posted this because it reminded me that I wanted to try making this jelly this year.

That looks fun! I need to go find some Queen Ann's Lace.

Kathy-thanks for the comment! A chigger is a bug so little you can't even see it-but it leaves an itchy bite you can see for days!

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

What the heck are chiggers ?

Thank you for this post. It reminded me...this year one of my goals is to make Queen Anne's Lace jelly. You make a rather smelly green tea from the blossoms and then it's supposed to turn a pale shell pink and taste light and rather lemony when you finish the jelly. I'll let you know how it turns out. Ours is just starting to come to bloom here in the Pacific Northwest.

You can also deep fry the flower heads and that's supposed to make a nice crunchy snack food.

If you use Queen Anne's Lace for any sort of food, make sure you rub the leaves should smell like carrot as it is wild carrot. That way you avoid wild hemlock which is poisonous...and very stinky to smell the leaves of.

Jackie-thank you for the comment! The ripeness of huckleberries depend on the elevation-and the weather. I start looking for the ones around my house at the end of July-first of August.

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

We used to do that with dandelions, and the color wood seep into the veins so delicately! I seem to recall using watercolors rather than food coloring, but maybe just an experiment.

Queen Anne's Lace is a sort of "wild" carrot, and it's on my list of dye-plants to try. But last week I met a woman selling QAL jelly at a farmers' market. That was a new one on me!

Del McCoury does a song about that, about Queen Ann's Lace and its differing character. In fact, it's titled "Queen Ann's Lace". Search him out and listen to his words.

OH MY GOODNESS! (caps intended)
I was always told the little red thing in queen ann's lace WAS chiggers , and to never touch them or I'd get chiggers.
Later in life I thought maybe I'd heard wrong in my young brain.
(I'm from cleveland Tn) Maybe it's a regional thing.

A neat little project for a summer day. And we do have lots of Queen Anne's Lace to do it with.

Thanks Tipper, I love Queen Anne's Lace and I think it is so pretty growing along the sides of the roads. I did not know that you could put it in colored water and it would change colors so thanks for that info. I have heard years ago that you would get chiggers from them so I always tried to stay away from them when I was a kid out playing.

I use Queen Anne's Lace (stems, leaves and flowers) to dye my handspun yarn a lovely shade of yellow. It has a slightly green cast and helps me remember early summer. I love how it forms a cage around the seeds like an unfurled umbrella.

SO pretty, we used to do that with daisies too!

I love Queen Anne Lace and I've never tried this..It is so beautiful, I'll have to try this..thanks for the post..

Y'all be careful and know the difference between Queen Anne's and Hemlock. That is probably the reason that the Mothers and the Grandmas were warning you to stay away from it.

Love the way the Queen Anne's Lace looks with the food coloring--especially the red. I've always loved Queen Anne's Lace wherever it bloomed. I'm glad I didn't know about the chigger part or I'd never have picked any, LOL! The name of your post made me think of the old song about Queen Anne's Lace.

We used to do a similar project with jonquils when I was a kid. In blue water, the yellow jonquils would turn a blue/green color. Never tried it with Queen Anne's Lace, though.

Thank you Tipper! I had never heard the legend of Queen Ann pricking her finger.

I have always loved Queen Ann's lace, and happily it has no association with chiggers in my mind!

Your dyed flowers are beautiful, I can't wait to try coloring some with my grandaughter Kate!

We have a weed in pastures in Kansas called milk weed and that is what my mother told me caused chiggars when I was a small girl roaming the pasture on our farm. It seens every state has their own stories to tell. I love the southern stories best of all and have never been there but once.

I love Queen Anne's Lace. I would pick them when I was a child...(and adult, lol)...My mother warning me that I would get a leg full of "chiggers"...That didn't satisfy or skeer me! I would take each one and look it over for the "chigger"...I never found any, and sassed that back to my mother..with her saying "OK,"you'll see in a little while!" It seems the only thing I ever did find crawling on them was that yellow/black bug, I can't remember the name now, you know that one that looks like a skinny lightning bug and crawls real fast...The other one was a green little spider. It would back up and stick it's front legs up at you like it was going to eat you alive...LOL I would get a stick and say a few words over him while I knocked the "peedevil" out of him, along with a brack or two of bloom on the lace..LOL
I loved to put them in food coloring too, along with daisies..Feel sorry for me, but my Mom was "stingy" with her food coloring back in the forties/fifties. I didn't understand that coloring was an extra special thing for cake icing only!...LOL
To me there ain't nothing purtier that a blue Ball jar full of Gueens Anne's Lace, Daisies, a sprig of Honeysuckle...and Chickory, if you can keep it til it blooms the next morning, or any roadside Blackeyed Susans, sitting on a scrap of old lace or tatting...
To me that says country and mountains and beautiful, all in one picture...
Thanks for a great post...I think I'll gather me some wild weed flowers...I'll leave the Butterfly Weed on the driveway for the "butterflies" and "chiggers",Don!

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh queen annes lace
a long favorite of mine
i take the bloom off and shake it to remove any bugs then i put it between layers of paper towels and microve one min or less several times till it gets dry and brittle then carefully spray it with silicone spray(or hairspray) till it stiffens then cool it and put between layers of a heavy book,it then can go in with your get well cards etc, one friend even put what i gave her ina picture frame with glass and made a nice wall hanging
i love them

We were warned about chiggers in the Queen Anne's Lace, too. Seems like they were called wild carrots. Does anyone else remember that?? Or did I dream it up??

A little off topic, but I always mow around the orange butterfly weed. Monarch butterflys are partial to them.

Nice! We use them for trees in architectural models, spraying them with paint or varnish. I like the organic food coloring idea, but it might need a lacquer to preserve it. We have lots of the Eurasian wild carrot in NE WI - I took a picture of about 100 Queen Anne's Lace on my prairie yesterday.

I just love Queen Anne Lace flowers. I never picked them nor did I ever think of putting them in colored water. Great idea! Now I know I must try it.

These were just "chigger weeds" to me for many years. Then someone called them "wild carrots" and just a few years ago I heard them referred to as "Queen Anne's Lace". While I'm on here, when do huckleberries get ripe? I was born in Graham County and still have cousins there.

Until recently I didn't know what
that thing was, but Don and also
Miss Cindy straightened me out.
Back when I was little, we called
them "Kiss Me and I'll Tell Ya's".
We'd never heard of Queen Ann
anyway. I recon those old grannies
just wanted a smack on the jaw, if
they'd wipe off the Bruton...Ken

Hey, y'all! Me again. Did some checkin around on wild parsnip, and this website shows it's now growing in TN, NC, VA (all y'all's areas). Thought you might want to check it out so you don't get "burned."

Hi Tipper,
I used to add food coloring to the water and do that with daffodils. They absorb the food coloring just along the edge of the petals and veins of the daffodils. I like your experiment with the Queen Annes lace too.

We have Queen Anne's Lace everywhere gives a lovely splattering of white everywhere! I love the project, will have to try it!

I think I got the name from my mother but I also grew up thinking the name of those flowers was "Chiggers" and was past middle-age when I came to realize the actual name of them. As a kid and young adult, I tried to avoid them due to the itching that I just knew they were going to induce. My mother would give me an old bottle of her nail polish to put a dab on each chigger bite! Thanks for the memories...

Queen Anne's Lace grows in abundance up here in Michigan, too. The thing that we have to look out for is "her" cousin, wild parsnip. Wild parsnip is one of a few, unique plants that can cause phyto-photo-dermatitis. (Try to say that quickly three times.) What this means is that chemicals in the juices of this plant with the help of ultraviolet light can burn your skin. These chemicals are found in the green leaves, stems and fruits of wild parsnip. Don't know if y'all have them as far south as you are, but I read they're extending their "range." They sure are pretty (like a yellow Queen Anne's Lace), but the burns can be really severe and last a long, long time.

Dont let chigger stop you.
mix salt and butter put on the
chigger they will be gone the next day. From my Granny.1944

That is a fun project. I've done the colored water with carnations and it works great!
I love seeing Queen Anne's Lace, blue cornflowers and orange daylillies growing wild by the side of the road.

Butterfly weed (pretty orange blooms - see link below) is also called chiggerweed.

The truth of the matter is that chiggers just ain't particular about which weeds they take holt of. And, unfortunately, neither are they particular about which hillbilly they take holt of.

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