Edible Flowers

By starlight1153 (starlight1153) on March 21, 2010

There you are with a garden full of beautiful blooms that you have been nurturing since they were nothing more than a little seedling, but did you know that some of those plants maybe producing blooms that are edible and make not only great food dishes, but creative garnishes too???

Farback in time and across many continents people have used different plants and flowers in their cooking.  Today, you will find a renewed interest in Edible Flowers not only for their taste, but also for the fragrance , texture and color they can bring to a dish.  

Before I get started here I would like to caution you first.

1.  Always remember before ever picking and plopping any part of a plant into your mouth, check and make  sure it is safe to do so.   Some plants are very poisonous.  Also, never pick and eat blooms straight out of the garden.   If you use  fertilizers or pest controls, residue could be hiding sight unseen that could make you sick.  Generally, most plants from stores and nurseries and garden centers all use some form of fertilizers  or chemicals on their plants,  so only eat those plants that you  have grown yourself from seed where you  know how they have been treated.  

2.  Now, also if you garden with little ones, and you just start picking and eating away, they may want to be just like you and copy without  knowing they have picked a non-edible flower that wil make them sick.   We want to keep our precious little ones and future gardeners safe at all costs. So if you pick blooms, wait until you are back inside and can make sure everything is safe and edible before munching away.  

3.  Flowers contain pollen.  On some blooms it may be alot, on others barely visable, but it is there.  Some folks have alergies to pollen, so you don't want to load up on  a plate of blooms to eat and causes an allergy reaction.   If you haven't eaten flowers before, and plan too,  it is a good idea to remove the anthers and filaments ( plant reproductive parts) that the pollen developes on before they are fully developed.  When trying anything new,  always try it in moderation first.  

4.   Eat only the flower petals except on flowers like Johnny-Jump-Ups, Pansies, Violas.    Daylilies you can eat the flower  petals and the buds themselves.


Below you will find a list of some edible types of flowers.  While this  list is not complete it does contain a list of some of the more common flowers you may have growing in your garden and suggestions for their uses.   I hope that you will give some of these edible flowers a try.   If you have other edible flowers that you grow and uses in recipes or dishes, please feel free to  share your knowledge  and comments. 


             Picture                                            Common Name                                                              Scientific Name                                                               Uses                                             
 2010-03-18/starlight1153/d89ddc Calendula Calendula officinalis Calendula is commonly used as a substitute for saffron.  It's petals were first used by the colonists to color and flavor butter and cheese and still is used today for those purposes.   It does have a bit of a bitter taste, so use  in moderation.  Yellow petals can be used in rice  dishes not only for color but flavoring too.  grab some of the petals and dry them to add to favorite soups or pasta dishes.
  Carnations Dianthus caryophyllus  Carnations besides being beautiful to look at, can provide you with an array of other uses for their blooms.  Decorating cakes is the most popular use, but the blooms can also be used in candy making and for wines.   If you want to serve your quests a fancy looking drink.  Take small Carnation buds,  and freeze  them in water in an ice cube tray and serve in a favorite drink or a punch bowl.
 2010-03-18/starlight1153/eeaeba Chrysanthemums Chrysanthemum coronarium Want to fancy up a  cake or a dessert dish.  Chrysanthemums do just that with their bright colorful blooms.  They also hold up well, even after being picked.   With Chrysanthemums you  not only can use the blooms,  but you can also use  the leaves as greens in a salad. 
  Dames Rocket Hesperis matronalis While Dames Rocket is not used too much commonly today, because of it's bitter taste, a little bit of it sprinkled in with with a bunch of salad greens can make a delightful change of taste.
  Dandelions Taraxaeum offincalis  Who as a child hasn't picked a Dandelion out of the yard and blown the seeds around the yard.  Besides being fun for children to play with, Dandelions make great greens in a salad and  especially in making Dandelion wine.  
 2010-03-18/starlight1153/f37882 Daylily Hemerocallis sp.  Ahhhhh! Daylilies one of my favorite flowers not only to grow, but to eat too.   Now it is true the blooms of the Daylily only live a day, so if your planning on using them as a decoration on a dish or  stuffing them with your favorite  recipe, make sure you have all your other ingredients ready first.   You can hold Daylily blooms for a while in a glass of cold water in the fridge until use.   Besides using the blooms, which are edible,  you can make some very tasty dishes or just have yourself a bowl of unopened Daylily buds as a tasty  side dish.   Some colors of Daylily buds and blooms may differ in taste a bit, so you may want to try a few first to make sure your not over powering your main dish. 
  English Daisy Bellis perennis This pretty cottage gardening type flower  makes delightful garnishes mainly for in a salad
  Gladiolus   A perennial plant that produces many blooms slowly up the stalk.  Most people don't realize that this plant is edible.    The shape of the Gladiolus bloom makes a great receptacle for stuffing with such things as chicken sald or tuna salad.  
 2010-03-18/starlight1153/cd4bb3 Pansy  Viola x wittrockiana
Who doesn't love seeing the smiling face of a Pansy?  Besides being one of the most popular of the bedding plants,  Pansies add flair and color to desserts and food dishes.  
 2010-03-18/starlight1153/fca257 Violet  Viola Another great little blooming flower that can spice up a cake or dessert,  makes cute frozen ice cubes for parties, and with a litle bit of egg white and some sugar makes a cheap and delectable candy.





Related articles:
Calendula, Calendula officinalis, Carnations, Chrysanthemum coronarium, Chrysanthemums, Dames Rocket, Dandelions, decorative garnishes, Dianthus caryophyllus, Edible flowers, flower garnishes, flowers, Hesperis matronalis, plants you can eat, Taraxae

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Attention Cat Owners Sorellina Oct 28, 2011 5:40 AM 1
Great article! Dea Jun 10, 2010 2:06 PM 5
Good information marti Mar 28, 2010 7:30 AM 0
Yum! Boopaints Mar 22, 2010 10:39 AM 2

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