Thursday, January 31, 2008
Snowy evening on World Peace Wetland Prairie
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The snowball holder is Queen Anne's lace, a wild carrot native to Europe, known to scientists by its Latin name, Daucus carota. The vegetable we know as the carrot was bred from this plant, originally valued for its medicinal power. The green-, yellow-, and black-striped larvae of the Black Swallowtail that you may see in your vegetable garden feeding on parsley (Petroselinum crispum), dill (Anethum graveolens), and carrot tops (Daucus carota) are often considered a nuisance. These caterpillars originally fed only on native plants such as angelica (Angelica), but they have also adapted to eat nonnative herbs in the parsley family, Apiaceae. So all a gardener needs to do is scatter a few extra patches of parsley and dill throughout the garden to disperse the caterpillars and allow for their huge appetites.