Appalachia Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

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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  • Reply
    April 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Queen Anne’s Lacy is one of my favorites, always! And it’s as pretty from the bottom as the top. Looks as if an engineer built it.
    Guess the Lord was the maker!!
    I tried to transplant QAL from Little East Fork every move I made and it didn’t take even once!!
    I guess they showed me to not take them out of Appalachia!!
    I’ve never had a chigger but was warned about them everyday !?
    Loved your pics Tip.

    (Going to make your strawberry bread today Tipper, but with box frozen berries to cut some sugar, and drain them well.
    OR may change to strawberry/rhubarb cobbler.)

  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    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

  • Reply
    kathy hillard
    July 22, 2012 at 12:23 am

    What the heck are chiggers ?

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    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 first…it 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.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    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

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    July 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    July 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

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

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    July 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    July 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

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

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    July 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    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..

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Dorothy Sanderson
    July 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    B F
    July 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    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

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 11:37 am

    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??

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    July 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

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

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

    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.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    July 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

    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.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

    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.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    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

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    July 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

    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.”

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

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

  • Reply
    Fred Horne
    July 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

    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…

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    July 12, 2012 at 8:09 am

    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.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

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

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    July 12, 2012 at 7:59 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    July 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    July 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Reader’s may also be interested in Queen Anne’s Lace as the progenitor of the modern carrot.
    Pull one up and break the tap root, and you’ll smell an old smell, new.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Pretty. It doesn’t grow wild here, that I know about.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 12, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I also recall some association between chiggers and Queen Anne’s Lace. It’s a distant memory and I can’t retrieve the details.
    I also remember doing this little food coloring test in a science class except we used celery to watch the color rise on the stalk.
    Memories are fun, aren’t they. You never know when one is going to be triggered and unfortunately you never know if they will be completely accurate.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

    *A Summer Snowflake*

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    July 12, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Oh and my the way i wonder if the chiggers change color too?

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    July 12, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Ah-Ha so i am not the only one that that calls them chigger flowers.
    Oh and about yesterdays post and the maters,i never have an luck with any of them. I am not sure what i am doing wrong. I keep pulling the little green maters off to make room for the nice big red ones but they ever show up. Any advice.

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