Queen Anne’s lace is typically known as wild carrot, but it’s not actually a carrot at all.
It looks like a carrot and grows in the same places as a carrot, so people can easily get confused between the two plants, but they are very different things altogether.
If you want to learn more about queen Anne’s lace and other plants that look just like it, keep reading.
Queen Anne’s lace
Queen Anne’s lace is a beautiful and delicate-looking plant that can be found in many gardens. Though it looks very similar to other plants in the carrot family, Queen Anne’s lace is actually a parsley family member.
The plant gets its name from the legend that Queen Anne herself once pricked her finger on a piece of lace and dropped a drop of blood onto the white flower. Today, the plant is known for its unique blooms and lacy leaves.
Its distinctive flavor has made it popular as an herb or spice, with fines herbes meaning a mixture of finely chopped herbs such as parsley, tarragon, chervil, and chives. It also goes by another nickname: Wild Carrot.
You’ll find this weed throughout North America and Europe, where it flourishes in damp soil near water sources. There are several types of plants, which have different sizes and shapes of flowers.
In general, they all share five petals that look like perfect little stars poking out between two large leaves that look like blades of grass. Queen Anne’s lace flowers in early summer and autumn, so you might be able to spot them while they’re still in bloom.
8 Plants That Look Just Like Queen Anne’s Lace
1. Water hemlock
Water hemlock is a good option if you’re looking for a plant that looks like Queen Anne’s lace. This plant is also known as poison hemlock and can be found in damp areas like marshes or wet meadows.
Water hemlock has small white flowers that grow in umbrella-shaped clusters, and its leaves are finely divided. This plant is extremely poisonous, so be careful not to mistake it for Queen Anne’s lace.
How to grow?
Plant these in a sunny area with rich soil. The plants do best when they are planted next to taller plants. You will need about four feet of space for the water hemlock to grow without becoming crowded, but if it does become crowded, you can always transplant it into another area of your garden.
It likes to have moist, well-drained soil. It needs six hours of sunlight per day and should only be watered twice a week-too much moisture will make the roots rot.
2. Yarrow flower
Yarrow is a great option if you’re looking for a plant that looks like Queen Anne’s lace. This pretty flower is part of the daisy family and typically has white or yellow blooms. Yarrow is easy to grow and is a great addition to any garden.
It will thrive in sun or partial shade and prefers dry conditions. One downside to this plant is it does attract bees. And, as with many flowers, it may self-seed around your property if it’s left on its own. But don’t worry: it should be fine if you leave some time between cuttings.
3. Giant hogweed plant
Giant hogweed is a large, invasive plant that can grow up to 14 feet tall. The stem is covered in large, sharp spines, and the leaves can be up to 5 feet wide.
The flowers are white and umbrella-shaped, and the plant produces a greenish-white fruit. Giant hogweed is native to Asia but has been introduced to North America and Europe.
This plant is extremely dangerous because it contains a sap that can cause severe burns and blindness if it comes into contact with skin. If you think you’ve come across this weed, please report it to your local Department of Natural Resources for removal.
4. Cow parsnip
Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) is a flowering plant that gets its name from its resemblance to lace. On the other hand, cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum) is a large perennial herb that can grow up to six feet tall.
Both plants are members of the Apiaceae family and have compound leaves with toothed edges. Their differences come down to size and color: cow parsnip has purple stems and greenish-white flowers, while queen Anne’s lace has white flowers with yellow centers.
If you’re not sure which one you’re looking at, look for clusters of flowers around the base of the plant – cow parsnip typically has less than ten blooms per cluster, whereas queen Anne’s lace will have more than ten blooms per cluster.
It also helps to know that cow parsnip’s leaves turn red in fall; in contrast, it usually takes three or four years for queen Anne’s lace plants to produce their first flower heads.
How to grow?
Plant cow parsnip seeds in late summer or early fall after the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Soil should be well drained but moist. Cow parsnip needs a full sun location and plenty of room to grow because this is a relatively fast-growing plant.
Water regularly during dry spells and fertilize monthly with compost or manure tea until flowering begins (approx six weeks). As the weather cools, the flowers become less showy, so deadhead as needed for the best appearance.
5. Cow parsley
Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) is a beautiful, delicate wildflower that is often mistaken for its doppelganger, cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris). Both plants are members of the Apiaceae family and have very similar leaves and flowers.
The main difference between the two is that cow parsley has a hollow stem, while Queen Anne’s lace has a solid stem. The easiest way to tell them apart is by taste; if you eat some of the plants, it will taste bitter in comparison to Queen Anne’s lace which tastes sweet.
You can also rub the flower heads between your fingers to check whether they’re soft or stiff. If they’re soft, then it’s probably cow parsley.
How to grow?
Plant cow parsley outside during the winter months where there is plenty of sunlight and soil with good drainage. Add mulch around the base to keep roots cool, moist, and protected from frost heaving.
Keep an eye out for critters such as mice and voles, who may nibble on young shoots. Cow parsley is usually considered invasive because it spreads rapidly through seeds and rhizomes.
6. Conium maculatum
Also known as poison hemlock, Conium maculatum is a flowering plant in the carrot family that can be found throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.
The plant can grow up to six feet tall and has small white flowers that resemble Queen Anne’s lace. However, all parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause paralysis or even death if ingested. Contact with skin can also result in blistering burns.
If you see this plant, do not touch it. It will take several hours for the toxin to enter your system, so try to avoid touching it if possible. If you must touch it, wash your hands immediately and seek medical attention.
Consider goutweed if you’re looking for a plant that looks just like Queen Anne’s lace. This fast-growing perennial has deeply lobed leaves and produces small white flowers in the summer.
Goutweed is an aggressive plant, so it’s best suited for areas where you don’t mind it spreading. Plus, it’s deer resistant and tolerant of poor soil conditions.
It blooms at the same time as Queen Anne’s lace but does not produce seeds. It can be found growing on lawns, ditches, roadsides, and waste places. The plant thrives in the shade in semi-shady locations with moist soils.
How to grow?
Plant goutweed where some other weeds or plants need to be controlled. Consider adding it near trees or garden beds if you want more shade or moisture. Planting seeds may require some patience since they take two years before they become mature enough to flower.
8. Bishop’s weed
A perennial plant that can grow up to three feet tall, the bishop’s weed is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens. The plant has small white flowers that bloom in the summer, and its leaves are pointy and triangular.
Bishop’s weed is native to Europe and Asia but can now be found in North America as well. It is also known as a shepherd’s purse because its hollow seed pods resemble a purse or satchel. For this reason, it was sometimes carried by shepherds for storage purposes.
How to grow?
Plant bishop’s weed from seedlings in late spring. Once planted, keep moist until seeds germinate. Fertilize regularly with compost tea if desired.
If your plants start flowering earlier than desired, cut them back, so they don’t bloom too early, and then resume the normal care regimen.
While Queen Anne’s lace is a beautiful plant, it can be invasive in some areas. Consider one of these options if you’re looking for a similar plant that won’t take over your garden. All of them have the same delicate beauty as Queen Anne’s lace, but they’ll stay where you put them.