Queen Anne's Lace is an invasive plant, brought to the New World by European colonists. According to the Wisconsin Horticulture website, they brought it with them because of its medicinal qualities. Exactly what those medicinal properties are was not explained. This plant is the wild form from which the domesticated carrot was derived; as you might expect, its roots can be cooked and eaten. Invasives are generally thought of as harmful to native organisms, and so is Queen Anne's Lace which, because of its promiscuous ability to reproduce, can crowd out other plants. But it is of some benefit in that wild animals feed on it, and some species of butterflies consume its nectar and use it as a host plant for their caterpillars. This photo was taken at our local nature preserve. The preserve's administrators make great effort to eradicate invasives so one has to admire its ability to prosper throughout the country, in fields and along roadsides, despite the persecution. Think Dandelions, another import from the Old World.
Brent Langley is an internationally known artist who enjoys sharing his views on art and nature.