Thursday, April 1, 2010

Question for the Hive Mind: ferny-looking outdoor NOID


I feel like I should probably know what this is already; it looks somehow both really familiar (could we have sold these at the garden center?) and really foreign (surely I'd remember seeing these before, if they were as weedy as they appear to be?). These have been coming up around town in the last couple weeks, especially in ditches and vacant lots.

Not an uninteresting plant, in any case. If you need a closer (or better-focused) look, the picture is much bigger when opened in a separate window.

UPDATE: Okay, duh. I am informed in comments that this is Queen Anne's lace, Daucus carota. Which makes perfect sense. I guess I've never known what it was unless it had flowers on it, and haven't paid the foliage any attention before.


9 comments:

Claude said...

Queen Annes Lace.

Some people think it's a vile weed, but the large white umbells are kind of cool looking.

Essentially, it's the wild version of the common carrot.

Errant said...

Yupyup.. Queen anne's lace. :D

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Check the texture smell of it, Mr Sub. If it's quite a stiff foliage with a strongly pungent but not unpleasant scent, it is probably Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare. If the foliage is softer feeling with a lighter, though acrid scent, then Queen Anne's lace, Daucus carota. The foliage doesn't look quite right to me for Queen Anne's Lace, but early growth is often confusing in many plants.

mr_subjunctive said...

Claude / Errant:

Thanks. I figured it had to be something pretty common, as much of it as I'm seeing around, but apparently I've never paid much attention to the foliage on QAL, being too focused on the flowers.

jodi (bloomingwriter):

Well, but there's soooooooo much of it. QAL is one of only a handful of things I can think of that would be this widespread, and in these particular places. I remember tansy from the garden center, and it did look a lot like this, but only a small percentage of this could possibly be tansy, if any.

eric @ my First Garage said...

Ha - I do this all the time, forgetting what is where. It's good to know you can simply post a photo, and the blog world will come your rescue

our friend Ben said...

Gack, tansy is the most invasive plant on earth, Mr. S.! It could easily take over the world while you were busy feeding Nina. But I have tansy, and this is definitely not that. I'm voting for Queen Anne's lace, which may be abundant but is so lovely that, like oxeye daisy, I only WISH it were taking over my gardens...

Ivynettle said...

That's funny - there's something much like this (or possibly the same) growing in a ditch I go past on my way to and from work. I've been admiring it for a while and wondering what it is. I thought of Queen Anne's Lace (I knew it had to be from that family), but wasn't sure.
One of the plants that make me happy. Best Friend and I, when we were kids, used to walk up the same way, home from school, and pull up the plants to gnaw on the roots. They were carrots, after all, they had to be edible, even if they weren't very tasty. But we liked to be stared at for gnawing on a root, with the plant - flowers and all - still on it. :)

mr_subjunctive said...

our friend Ben:

Really? My recollection is that tansy was sort of hard to keep going through the summer. Though that would probably have been 2008, when everything flooded, and it was hard to keep a lot of things then, so maybe that's not fair. And also plants in containers have problems others don't. But I'm still surprised.

Anonymous said...

tansy takes over my yard in northwest indiana with no hesitation. i have to pull out two-thirds of it every spring just to keep it looking respectable. it also gets too heavy for itself and needs to be staked....i don't know, that's a lot like what the tansy coming up in my yard looks like.