Coloring Queen Anne’s Lace


Queen Anne’s Lace, also called wild carrot, came to America from Europe, and what we know as carrots today were cultivated from it.
Growing four feet tall, its tiny, white flower clusters bloom from May to October. I think Queen Anne’s Lace represents Summer’s envy of Winter’s snowflakes. Summer and Winter have never gotten along very well and they’re always saying bad things about each other.
But a lot of people have trouble getting along with Winter, so I wouldn’t put too much blame on Summer.
Caterpillars eats Queen Anne’s Lace leaves, bees sip its nectar, and predatory bugs lurk around it to chomp down on other bugs.
People like to pick it and turn it pretty colors. With a few drops of food coloring, you can have Queen Anne’s Lace in any color you want!
To dye Queen Anne’s Lace, place several drops of food coloring in the vase water.
Put the flowers back in the vase….
….and wait six to eight hours.
And then add some more food coloring and wait 24 hours.
Okay, try 48 hours…..
WHAT?! I have defective Queen Anne’s Lace.

One more try…..
Maybe my stems were too long. I picked some fresh Queen Anne’s Lace (my kids LOVE it when I’m driving them home from practice and I stop the car to pick flowers or take pictures or clamber over a gate to look at an outhouse–they LOVE IT–or not…..sometimes they honk the horn or try to take the wheel). I cut the stems about 4 inches long and, since I was running low on food coloring, just added water to the food coloring container and placed the flowers in there. Twelve hours later…..
Victory! Okay, not a big one, not a lot of color, but there is a little bit of red color on that one flower. I think I needed more food coloring than what I had left. Cutting the stems short definitely made a difference. So have you ever tried this? Want to try it now? There’s still plenty of Queen Anne’s Lace on the roadsides! (Good luck!)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 5, 2009  

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29 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 9-5

    beautifull, nature holds a lot of secrets.
    I will be searching the roadsides now, hahaha
    thank you for the wonderfull photo’s

  2. 9-5

    That is a gr8 idea.
    I am already on the lookout for these flowers….
    But I wonder where will I find them in India.

  3. 9-5

    I was a florist for many years and we used to dye flowers all the time. It was a floral dye though, I don’t know if it was like food coloring or not. Could sure stain anything it touched though. We used it for mums and carnations mostly, but I dyed roses and a few other white flowers a time or two. Try cutting the stems under water, to prevent air pockets and put them in mildly warm water then change to cool when you have the shade you want. The wholesalers would do it at certain holidays too. Green for St. Patrick’s, orange for Halloween, etc. Interesting about being in carrot family. I never knew that, makes me like them even more.

  4. 9-5

    This is what we called the poor man’s bouquet. We had red (well, mostly pink),white and blue Queen Anne’s Lace for the 4th. I also did not know it was in the carrot family. Maybe carrots will be our new crop next year. Thanks

  5. 9-5

    I’ve found red and orange food coloring doesn’t do much to Queen Anee’s Lace, but blue and green make them look like fireworks.

  6. 9-5

    I want to see a Queen Anne’s carrot

  7. 9-5

    I’ve done this with mums and it worked well-actually one of my kids did this for a science experiment.

  8. 9-5

    I love Queen Anne’s Lace. I encourage it to grow in my ornamental garden beds. I cut it back to control heighth. Love the “Summer’s envy of Winter snowflakes” idea. Sounds like something I’d say. I haven’t foraged in a while but I do love doing it. I have a delightful wild geranium that I found roadside on a country lane. I’ve since divided it several times so now have more.

  9. 9-5

    Hi Suzanne
    its just me little ole pat after reading about queen ann’s lace I wanted to tell you a few of my hints, I know you’re suppoe to let the blooms soak up th color, so I use several jars fill with water add the colors an dip the blooms down in the colored water, doesn’t take near as long and something else I want to pass on to you in late fall when the blooms have dried up pick them with long stems and put them in a bucket of bleach water overnight and they will look like snowflakes,you coould spray them with hair spray and they will last longer. pat in


  10. 9-5

    Just noticed your kitchen countertops look like my kitchen countertops. Home Depot?

  11. 9-5

    Daddy used to call this Tickweed, not near as pretty a name as Queen Anne’s Lace! We see it along country roads here in Arkansas and it is at it’s prettiest in late summer.

  12. 9-5

    I used to do that with my mom’s celery stalks. It was kind of cool watching the color go up the outer bigger veins.

  13. 9-5

    I think we got them at Lowe’s, but it’s hard to remember now! We got some stuff at Home Depot, but I don’t think it was the kitchen.

  14. 9-5

    funny how a roadside weed is so beautiful. one of my favorites. Going to go find me some to transplant at Poverty Corner. Love your blog.

  15. 9-5

    This doesn’t grow in southern California, we are getting ripped off! I’m so jealous…

  16. 9-5

    Your post today brings back two memories! I used to color Queen Anne’s Lace with my Mom to bring to church for the vases. The other memmory is of my daughter ducking in the front seat while I played “George of the Jungle” (her words not mine!) in the bushes on the side of the road cutting Winterberry!

  17. 9-5

    colored or no, the photos of your queen anne’s lace are beeeeautiful, just as they are :woof:

  18. 9-5

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think at least some of what you’ve got there ISN’T Queen Ann’s Lace. Although it is hard to tell from the photographs (which are very nice, btw), it looks as though some of the flower heads lack the dark central flower which is diagnostic of an identification of Queen Ann’s Lace. If the flower heads lack the central dark flower, you’ve got some other sort of species of Umbelliferae, some of which can be quite poisonous. I am not trying to be a know-it-all…I just felt like I ought to say something just in case. Btw, most species of Umbelliferae look very much alike, so mis-identification is very easy to do, even for experts, but Queen Ann’s Lace is the only species that bears the dark central flower.

  19. 9-5

    I remember the blooms from my childhood in Pennsylvania, but have never known of coloring them! What a delicious idea!

  20. 9-5

    Neat idea!
    I spent a lot of time picking queen anne’s lace, with my mom, when I was growing up.
    She still points it out when we are driving in the car, but she sold her dried flower business, so we don’t stop to pick it (too often). LOL

  21. 9-5

    I love that lacey flower…sort of reminds me of baby’s breath. However, I hate carrots, so hate they brought that over. LOL

  22. 9-5

    We would color white daisies using that same method. We’d dye them all colors. Fun. Fun. Thanks for bringing back memories.

  23. 9-6

    Beautiful photography (see even a weed is spectacular, and as the saying goes only a weed because someone does not want it growing there). Your words are a delight to read, as previously said poetry.

  24. 9-8

    I think it works better if you cut the stems a bit shorter using about a tablespoon of color. Also cutting the stems under water helps too as it prevents air pockets forming at the bottom of the stems (I was told this once). See if that works better.

  25. 11-18

    :snuggle: :wave: We ive where Queen’s Ann’s lace is abundant. Infact, I plant wild flowers along our country road and where there’s Queen Ann growing…I never mow them down! :shimmy:
    One day this summer as I was coming home from town I noticed a lot of my pretty Queen ann Lace was colored! Jadie my little granddaughter…age 6 had spray painted them! Blue! Pink! Yellow! And guess what!? They remained colorfull for several weeks.
    My dad had also done this when he traveled down different country roads to just “shock” people!ahha :purpleflower:
    The spray paint is what Walmart has for $1.00 a can! HAve Fun!Gramma Rosie :heart:
    PS We have Sweet Annie too abundantly!

  26. 2-19

    Beautiful! Have you ever tried this with carnations? Every vein turns color. Simply gorgeous. :turtle:

  27. 7-3

    :D Thank you! :wave: I had the same problem and was so frustrated! :hissyfit: Then i read this and some other articles and cut my stems shorter :happyflower: (They were around 10 inches!) and it worked! :lol: :shimmy: Thanks again!

  28. 9-6

    Here in the UP of Michigan Queen Anne’s Lace has a black center dot and Wild Carrot does not have the black dot in the center. They are very similar thanks for sharing all your ideas.. Love love love your blog…..

  29. 10-20

    I remember doing this with carnations with good luck. Thanks for a smiley thought.

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