Be sure to include some edible petals garden seeds when placing your order every spring! Whether you have a small container of flowers or a large flower bed you can grow edible petals and enjoy their beauty both outside and on your dinner table.
Gardening even on a small scale can be very therapuetic and growing edible flowers is a great way to introduce kids to both gardening and natural foods at the same time. Children also find flowers fascinating and will be thrilled to learn about edible petals. Just remember to tell them that not all flowers are edible.
Here's just a few uses and ideas for edible petals...
Before we get to the edible flowers list there's a few things to keep in mind...
So, which flowers are edible?
Let's get to the fun part, the edible flowers list...
So, which flowers are edible?
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) Delicate liqorice flavor. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees love Hyssop, and the edible leaves flowers and seeds can be used for teas, salads and to flavor drinks.
Bee balm or Bergamot (Monarda didyma) Milder than the leaves - savoury/fruity flavor . Suitable for salads, rice, pork and pasta dishes. A wonderful uplifting tea is made from these edible petals!
Basil flowers(Ocimum basilicum) A milder flavor than the leaves. Use for salads and pasta dishes.
Borage (Borago officinalis) Cucumber taste. Suitable for cold soups, sorbets and drinks such as punch, gin & tonic, iced teas.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis Group) Small yellow flowers have a mild broccoli flavor and are delicious in salads or in a stir-fry or steamer.
Carnation The edible petals of carnations have been used since the 1600s to make a French liqueur known as Chartreuse. Today, you can steep carnation petalss in wine and use them as candy or as decorations on cakes and desserts. The miniature dianthus petals taste like nutmeg and clove. These can be added to salads to add spice and color.
Calendula or Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) Flavor similar to saffron but stronger and sometimes bitter or peppery. Great for many dishes including meats, poultry, eggs, pasta, rice and salads. Adds color to liquids such as milk.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile, Matricaria recutita) Applelike taste often used to make tea.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) All parts of these plants are edible. The flowers are stronger flavored than the leaves. Suitable for salads, in egg dishes such as omelettes and in soups.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) mild flavored, blue edible petals.
Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) — mild
Cilantro flowers (Coriandrum sativum) Similar flavor to the leaves. Suitable for salads, vegetables and grains.
Cornflower or Batchelor's Button Slightly sweet clove-like flavor. Beautiful as a garnish.
Cowslip or Primrose The legendary sleeping place of fairies and an integral part of ancient May Day ceremonies. In the northern United States their round yellow blossoms are a welcome sight in wetlands as the last snow melts. Add them to salads, pickle the flower buds, cook as a vegetable, or ferment into a tangy old-fashioned wine.
Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) A delicious addition to salads if you pick the flowers when they are young and eat them quickly after picking. They have a sweet flavor, like honey but get bitter when old.
Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) The original orange daylily is the only edible lily! Slightly sweet flavor. Great for desserts and for stuffing or deep frying.
Do not eat other types of lilies (Lillium) as they are poisonous. If in doubt - leave it out.
Dianthus (Dianthus caryophyllus) Clove like flavor.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) Stronger flavor than the leaves. Use as you would the herb. Nice for seafood and dressings.
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) The flowers are a creamy color and have a sweet scent and sweet taste. When harvesting elderberry flowers, do not wash them as that removes much of the fragrance and flavor. Instead check them carefully for insects. The fruit is used to make wine. The flowers, leaves, berries, bark and roots have all been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries. NOTE: All other parts of this plant, except the berries, are mildly toxic! They contain a bitter alkaloid and glycoside that may change into cyanide. The cooked ripe berries of the edible elders are harmless. Eating uncooked berries may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
English daisy (Bellis perennis) mild
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) mild licorice taste
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) Citrus flavor. Suitable for use in salads, teas or as a garnish. Use these edible petals sparingly.
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) mild, nutty taste
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) Sweet honey flavour. Great as a garnish for desserts and salads. The berries are highly poisonous so never eat them.
Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) The blossoms have a sweet flavor. They can be used as a garnish in salads or floated in drinks.
Jasmine (Jasminum sambac, J. officinale) Very fragrant. Nice for tea and scenting rice dishes.
Johnny Jump-up (Viola tricolor) mild flavor, many uses. See Sweet Violet...
Kale (Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group)
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) Sweet flavor. Beautiful as a garnish, in savoury dishes like stews and desserts such as custards and ices.
Lemon Blossoms (Citrus limon) Use sparingly for a citrus flavor.
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) sweet flavor
Lilac (Syringa spp.) Highly floral, slightly bitter lemony flavor. Nice addition for salads.
Linden tree flowers(Tilia spp.) Small flowers, white to yellow was are delightfully fragrant and have a honey-like flavor.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Mustard (Brassica juncea) The young leaves can be steamed, used as a herb, eaten raw, or cooked like spinach. NOTE: Some people are highly allergic to mustard. Start with a small amount.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) Sweet, peppery flavor. Great for stuffing. Leaves are also edible and add a peppery taste to salads or sandwiches. Seed pods can be pickled as used as a substitute for capers. These edible petals are easy to grow in the garden!
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) mildly sweet
Orange blossoms(Citrus sinensis) sweet
Oregano (Origanum spp.)
Pansy (Viola) Sweet, fragrant flavor. Wonderful for use whole in salads, desserts and drinks. Excellent crystallized. Leaves are also edible when steams or boiled. One of my favorite edible petals!
Pea (Pisum sativum) pealike flavor
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)
Radish (Raphanus sativus) Left yours in the ground too long? Let them bloom and eat the flowers!
Sage (Salvia officinalis) The edible petals of sage flowers are a delicious companion to many foods including beans, corn dishes, sauteed or stuffed mushrooms, and pesto.
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) strong
Savory (Satureja hortensis, S. montana)
Scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.) The flower flavor generally relates to the variety. For example, a lemon-scented geranium would have lemon-scented flowers. They come in fragrances from citrus and spice to fruits and flowers, and usually in colors of pinks and pastels. Sprinkle them over desserts and in refreshing drinks or freeze in ice cubes. NOTE: Citronelle variety may not be edible.
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) Makes a great, healthy infusion or tea!
Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) Milder flavor than garlic cloves. Great for salads.
Squash blossoms(Cucurbita spp.) Many squash flowers are edible. Remove the pistols beforehand. They can be eaten raw or sautéed in butter. Excellent stuffed and deep fried in a light batter. If you grow your own, try using the male flowers first so it doesn't interfere with your vegetable crop. Pick before fully opened.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Everyone knows about the edible sunflower seed but the sunflower petals have a slightly bitter, peppery flavor. Suitable for salads and infusions. Blanch petals before use.
Sweet violet (Viola odorata) These pretty edible petals are perfect for adding to a range of food, as well as serving decorative purposes. Some ideas include candied violets, violet tea, violet cake and violet syrup. They can be included in salads, vinegar, jelly, butter or flavored spreads or simply used as plate garnish.
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) Also known as Wild Baby's Breath. The flower flavor is sweet and grassy with a hint of nutty, vanilla flavor. NOTE: Can have a blood thinning effect if eaten in large amounts.
Rose (Rosa spp.) The flavors depends on type and colour, but generally fruity. All roses are edible. Suitable for garnishing desserts and salads and excellent in syrups and jellies.
Rose-of-sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) mild
Tulip (Tulipa spp.) bean or pealike
Yucca (Yucca spp. All of the non-woody parts of most yuccas are edible, and the flowers in particular are quite tasty besides making an beautiful addition to salads.
I hope you'll add to this edible flowers list and reference by commenting below!
Have you tried a using edible flowers? Have a good recipe?
Share your knowledge or experience!
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