The Herbal Artist: Queen Anne's Lace Flower Jelly

| 7/11/2012 3:06:51 PM

Poppy Swap HeadshotAmber is an herbalist who lives in western North Carolina, and has been working with herbs for more than 10 years. Be sure to visit her Poppy Swap shop Pixie’s Pocket. It is full of herb-infused raw honey, handcrafted tinctures and wildcrafted native medicinal herbs.  

The edges of my yard are a wild fringe of tall grasses, red clover, chicory, burdock, daisies and the bobbing heads of Queen Annes Lace.

I've only recently come to know Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) as an herbal ally, and became intrigued when I learned that a delightful jelly can be made from her flowers! I was even more delighted to find the finished product tastes like a light floral lemonade, or grapefruit juice. It is excellent on a toasted English muffin alongside a cup of tea.

Queen Annes Lace Flowers Soaking 7-11-2012 

Key Points to Harvesting

Prepare! You'll likely be competing with many insect friends while gathering these blossoms, so be prepared with gloves or other clothing to protect yourself. You'll need at least 20 flower heads, or at least 2 packed cups of Queen Anne's lace flower heads, so bring a basket, a clean bag or a jar.

Identify! Once you find a good patch of flowers, make sure it is really Queen Anne's lace, and not her cousin, the poisonous water hemlock. Queen Anne's lace has a hairy stem and the distinct, piney scent associated with aromatics in the carrot family. Poison hemlock is smooth and smells awful when you rub its leaves.