In a Vase on Monday: Parsnips and Carrots

I just could not decide what to pick this week for the In a Vase on Monday meme, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. While driving home from town at the weekend I noticed that the Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) is in full flower, and so this morning I took a short walk beyond our garden gate to see if I could find some as a starting point. Then I also found some lovely yellow flowering Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and a few pieces of white Sickleweed (Falcaria vulgaris), both of which have a similar shape flowerhead to the Daucus.


I started off with this vase, but then changed it and tried a photo indoors, which I much prefer:


I absolutely adore Queen Anne’s Lace, and insist on using the name only for Daucus carota, and not for Cow Parsley, as has become common.

Here you can see the flowerhead fully open, with the dark spot at the centre said to be the drop of Queen Anne’s blood as she pricked her finger making the lace. (This isn’t a feature of cow parsley….) The single red floret is actually there to attract insects, which it does very efficiently. I had to shake these flowers several times to get rid of beetles, flies and other bugs.


I really love the buds, tinged with pale pink…


But I also like the way the flower curls up when it has gone over, and then turns in on itself to form tight bunches of seeds… I think it looks like a lttle nest!


Queen Anne’s Lace is in the carrot family, hence the title – the parsnip speaks for itself. The flowers of Pastinaca sativa look like fennel, but the leaves are quite different, and the scent of the flower heads when crushed is sweet and aromatic – not unlike aniseed/fennel, but far less pungent. I won’t dig them up in autumn to eat, although I would love to as parsnips are hard to find in southern Germany!


The third plant is basically a weed (aren’t they all?): Sickleweed – what a name! But I am very pleased it grows here as it was almost completely eradicated in Germany when herbicides were first used in large quantities on farming land. Now Sickleweed (Falcaria vulgaris) is creeping back, especially in areas where the ground is very limey….


The overall effect is a reflection of what we see on the edges of our roadsides and fields right now.


Can you see any wild flowers at the roadsides near you at the moment?

Thanks again to Cathy – do take a look at her post for this Monday where you will find links to all the other vases people from all over the world are putting together from what’s in/near their garden today.

Maybe you’d like to join in?!