Are Hostas Edible? Excerpts from a Gardening Conversation

By AlwaysWeeding (AlwaysWeeding) on March 13, 2010

The following is an excerpt from a conversation on one of the gardening forums I frequent. I got permission from those I quoted to make an article from their humorous observations about eating hostas. The conversation was started by "Marie", who had already done some tasting of various hostas in her garden. She eventually baked a cake and decorated it very artistically with hosta and berries. Before you go off and bake that cake, enjoy the observations by experienced hosta snackers.


What I'm wondering is......Are the flowers edible? I'm decorating a cake this weekend and am wondering if I can use hosta flowers right on the cake. I've got some great blooms in the garden right now in both white and lavender, and they would look so nice on the cake...but I don't want to kill my family.

(general chatter went on with joking about helping with groceries, are they edible....)

I'm baking the cake in the morning, so that it will be ready for late afternoon. I'll wait until after lunch to add the flowers. Just in case anyone has last month's Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I'm making the Berry Upside-down cake that's on the cover. (I love berries of all kinds.) I've got fresh berries for the top, and the white and lavendar of the hosta blossoms should look nice together, along with some fresh mint leaves.

(general chatter, are they edible, blooms in general....)

Getting my thread back on track..........Here's the cake (Upside-down Berry Cornmeal Cake) decorated with hosta leaves and flowers...and a few blackberries. And yes.....most of us ate the decorations. They weren't too bad. The purple Judy Rocco flowers actually tasted sweeter than the big white flowers. (NOID hosta...may be Royal Standard, it's very fragrant) The solid leaves are also Judy Rocco and the streaked leaves are from Geisha.
I got the recipe from the August, Better Homes and Gardens. Yes, there is cornmeal in the cake. Even stranger is the finely snipped, fresh basil. I looked up the recipe on their web-site to make sure that I had read it right. I had. Since some of the feedback on the web-site mentioned that they found the cake kind of dry, I added a couple of tablespoons of melt butter to the batter.

Marie posted pictures to make our mouths water.

Hosta Berry Cake Hosta Berry Cake - YUM  Hosta Berry Cake closeup Closer picture of her cake.

(there were lots of words of praise on how beautiful and scrumptious it looks....)

Thanks for the compliments. I was very pleased with how well it turned out. Not all of my experiments are successes.
It really was good tasting (hostas included)...LOL It is a heavier cake, but I love berries so I thought I'd try it. I would think that by leaving off the berries, glaze and part of the sugar, that it would make a very good cornbread/biscuit for dinner.
I was very pleased....and it even impressed my mother. (Believe me....that is something.)
It was surprising that the hosta blossoms/buds can taste very different. The Judy Rocco were much sweeter than the Royal Standard. They remind me very much of fresh, baby peas right out of the shell.

I've been doing some taste testing now as I walk through the garden. Geisha's buds are very sweet and tasty, but another variety I tried yesterday was no good at all. I wish that I could remember which one it was. So far, Judy Rocco and Geisha are my favorites in the taste category. (This is pretty weird.......taste testing my hostas.)

Another poster:
Marie, what have you got me doing - tasting hosta flowers? Geisha was nice (like a fresh pea as you said), but try Salute (mmm) and Blue Haired Lady (yum). Spritzer has a gross aftertaste and they all tasted the same after that.

Now I have to go floss the green stuff from between my teeth! LOL

I may just chuckle myself to sleep tonight. I don't happen to have any of the other hostas that you've tasted, but once you get a yucky one either you're done or you have to go back for a tasty one again.
(Part of me thinks that this is so sick....but the other part of me is having a really great time.)
What's next? Some lovely, tender hosta greens sauted in olive oil with a bit of garlic?
By the way......if tasting the leaves interests you......they are not as good as the blossoms, and I would recommend leaving the tetraploids in the garden and going with the leaves that are more delicate.
Just in case anyone was wondering. ; - )

The recipe for the cake is located here: Upside-Down Berry Cornmeal Cake Recipe.

Permission granted by Marie and other participant to write an article.  Pictures furnished by Marie.

Related articles:
berry cake, eating hosta, edible plants, hosta, hosta cake

About AlwaysWeeding
AlwaysWeeding is my alias on various gardening forums that I have frequented for many years. It is also my alias here on where I co-own the Hostas Cubit and do much of the technical implentation. I have enjoyed gardening forums because so many of the people there are just so friendly and welcoming, and you just never know what they will be up to.
I have been a gardener for close to 40 years at this point and love to share the passion and the plants with friends, neighbors, friends-of-friends, get the idea. My garden is mainly shade, so I have hundreds of hostas. I love the shade companion plants, so I have ferns, heucheras, and many others. I also favor daylilies, lilies, bee balms, coneflowers and whatever catches my eye on trips to the garden centers and growers.

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