I have written about the beauty and the sweet scent of the Flocks and Lilacs lining the river road on my early morning bike rides. It is now late July, the pinks and lavenders
are gone, but the white Queen Anne’s Lace now line the way. They grow thick, interlocking blossoms as if to create a long lacey bridal-like veil to guide my way. It is very ornamental and my imagination can even create bright 4th of July-like phantom fireworks displays exploding softly and silently as I pedal along the river road.
(Daucus carota) Queen Anne’s lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England and Ireland (1665-1718), who was an expert lace maker. Legend has it that when pricked with a needle, a single drop of blood fell from her finger onto the lace, leaving the dark purple floret found in the flower’s center. She had frailties making her somewhat delicate like the flower or weed named after her. Even Queen Anne furniture has beautiful and delicate styling to go with her lacy flowerets. The root of the flower is the wild carrot, often used in soups.
God’s incredible creations for our enjoyment have crowning features like the Queen Anne Lace or the pink and purple Crown Vetch that line many other highways and byways throughout this region of the Upper Midwest. The Ping-Pong ball sized flower clusters and their dense growth serves for erosion control.
I just returned from a second bike ride today on the same road. In the pre-dawn hours I could see the elegant Queen Anne’s lace rising up at least three feet. However, I did not see the periwinkle blue Chicory flowers at there feet. Now they are very visible and distinct. Again what a special plant God has created for us to enjoy. Chicory leaves and roots are used as a vegetable. Roasted roots are ground and brewed. Chicory is a sedative with potential cardioactive properties. Chicory's oligosaccharides are probiotic and are beneficial in maintaining healthy GI flora. Inulin type fractions of the plant may help certain conditions including constipation, diarrhea, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Chicory has also been noted as an appetite stimulant and for dyspepsia.
I am reminded of many trips to New Orleans where my employer’s headquarters were established. Although we did not move there, we did enjoy the cuisine and the chicory coffee unique to the Cajun cuisine in our country. I love the Cafe du Monde beignets and chicory coffee with its sharp and distinctive taste and smell along with the savory spices of Jambalaya and other creole dishes.
It is amazing how God brings us plants for beauty and practical uses too. All of God’s creatures should be useful for something and not just look pretty or not. He has made everything with a delicate balance that man has often ruined in the name of progress. That is why we continue to enjoy traveling to see our National Parks and the incredible displays of grandeur and grace from oceans, deserts, meadows, forests and oceans.
Since the beginning of creation God has called it all good and commanded us to look over and take care of all creation for it declares His glory.