Queen Anne's Lace in Point au Roche Park, Plattsburgh, NY

The Legend of Queen Anne’s Lace

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Adirondack Park, NY
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On my final day in the northeast corner of Adirondack Park, I walked across the street to Point au Roche State Park, bound for a narrow point that juts out into Lake Champlain. Hot, humid breezes blew thick grey thunderheads overhead and birds flitted back and forth, as if panicked by the approaching storm. I breathed in the acrid smell of marsh grass decaying in the late summer heat and started when a garter snake crawled across my foot and disappeared into the dense vegetation. The quiet country road wound past marshy backwaters framed by tall green reeds and thick cattails but it was the flowers that drew my attention. Scattered among the reeds were the most enormous Queen Anne’s Lace blossoms I have ever seen.

Queen Anne's Lace blossom with a perfect ruby red center

Queen Anne's Lace blossom with a perfect ruby red center

“Do you remember the story?” my late grandmother whispered in my head. As a young girl I had walked along a road bordered by wildflowers with my maternal grandmother. She pointed to a field of Queen Anne’s Lace and challenged me to find one with a tiny red blossom in the center. I searched a long time but finally found one. “Why doesn’t every flower have red in the center?” I asked. Grandma, who had emigrated from England to Canada and eventually ended up in the U.S., shared the legend of Queen Anne’s Lace with me. “As a young girl, Queen Anne was wandering through a meadow. When she leaned over to admire these same white flowers she lost a ruby from a necklace she was wearing. Though she searched and searched, the ruby was never found. And that’s why, every so often, you will find a red ruby in the center of the flowers.”

I looked down and directly in front of me was an enormous frilly Queen Anne’s Lace bloom with a perfect red jewel in the center. My grandma also said that no one ever died, as long they are remembered. I smiled. “Hi Grandma.”

Backwaters of Lake Champlain at Point au Roche Park

Backwaters of Lake Champlain at Point au Roche Park

Cattails and marsh grasses at Point au Roche Park near Plattsburgh, NY

Cattails and marsh grasses at Point au Roche Park near Plattsburgh, NY

Backwaters of Lake Champlain at Point au Roche Park

Backwaters of Lake Champlain at Point au Roche Park


Adirondack Park kindly hosted the author’s visit to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items/services received will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Series NavigationAdirondack Lakes – A Water WonderlandAn Oasis of Serenity in Adirondack Park

10 Comments on “The Legend of Queen Anne’s Lace

  1. What a beautiful legend Barbara, and incredible that you can really find red blossoms. There are various really interesting tales about flowers. Tales told by grandmothers really are the best ones. And it’s true: As long as you talk about someone, he’ll never be forgotten! Thank you for sharing this great tale!

  2. Didn’t know this legend. Will be on the lookout for Queen Anne’s ruby among the lacy wildflowers. 

  3. What a wonderful tale of a beautiful flower. I love the wild unkempt nature of this park – sometimes parks are overmanicured and the lose that superb element of nature that your fine photography captures so well.

  4. Simply gorgeous photos, Barbara.  Beautiful.  I didn’t know that story, despite being brought up in the English countryside! Love it when we live and learn!

    • Hi Linda! Really interesting to hear you didn’t know the story. I always wondered if it was a widely told tale in England or not. Who knows, maybe my grandmother made it up on the spot, but even if she did, it will always remind me of her and I treasure it.

  5. Sweet story. I’m a nature lover, so I definitely connected with it. You description is wonderful and it really put me there with you and your grandmother. Glad I happened upon it today!

    • Thanks Lisa. I’m never sure whether or not to write these really intense personal stories or not, but when I get comments like yours I am always happy I did.

  6. What a lovely story! A self-proclaimed flower aficionado, I never knew the story behind the name. Thank you for sharing! Such a nice memory of your grandmother too.

    • Thanks so much Erin. So many people think of it as a weed, but it will always be a special flower to me.

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