Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers

Only use edible flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides.

Both flowers and leaves have a delicate, fragrant taste. They are ideal for adding to cakes for a hint of anise flavor, or add the leaves and flowers to whipping cream for a creamy, licorice flavor.

WARNING: If you are pregnant, be sure to research possible contraindications to using this herb.

Apple/ Crab Apple
Apple blossoms have a slightly floral taste and the petals are lovely in salads. Infuse petals in whipped cream or ice cream to go over an apple tart. Blossoms look attractive when floated in a fruit punch.

Flowers can be used as a substitute for leaves in any dish requiring basil. The flowers should be used more sparingly due to their very intense flavor. Delicious added to salads, soups or pasta.

The brightly colored flowers have a delicious light, lemon taste and a crisp texture. Use snipped petals as a garnish in salads and sandwiches or dip whole petals in flavored yogurt and serve as an appetizer.

WARNING: Only tuberous begonia petals are edible. The petals contain oxalic acid and therefore should only be eaten in moderation and should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidney stones or rheumatism.

Biennial Clary
Flowers have a very aromatic flavor and being pastel shades, make a lovely contrast when added to salads.

Mix flowers into vegetable and fruit salads, or use to garnish soups or to decorate desserts. An excellent choice for freezing in ice cubes and floating on iced tea. Petals have a cucumber taste and the stamens add a hint of sweetness.

WARNING: Pregnant and lactating women should avoid borage flowers, as more than eight to ten flowers can cause milk to flow. They can also have a diuretic effect, so should not be eaten in great quantity.

Busy Lizzie
The flowers come in many colors and look attractive used as a garnish in salads or floated in cold drinks.

Cape Jasmine
These extremely fragrant blooms can be used to make pickles, preserves and jams, or shredded and added as flavoring to cakes.

Dianthus/ Carnation/ Pinks
Most dianthus have a pleasant spicy, floral, clove-like taste, especially the more fragrant varieties, and are ideal for decorating or adding to cakes. They’ll also make a colorful garnish to soups, salads and the punch bowl. The petals of Sweet Williams will add zest to ice cream, sorbets, salads, fruit salad, dessert sauces, seafood and stir-fries.

WARNING: It is advisable to remove the white heel at the base of the petal as this has a bitter taste.

The small flowers have an aromatic, strong mint/spice flavor so should be used sparingly when cooking. Ideal for adding a bit of bite to pasta or rice dishes and all types of vegetables. Also makes a tasty complement to meat dishes like lamb.

WARNING: Nepeta (Catmint) is not recommended to eat during pregnancy.

Chicory, Raddichio
The fresh flowers have a mild lettuce flavor and make a decorative addition to salads, whilst flower buds can be pickled. Picked blooms look attractive frozen in ice cubes and added to drinks.

WARNING: Contact with all parts of this plant can irritate the skin or aggravate skin allergies.

Chives/ Chinese Chives
Chive flowers have a mild onion flavor and are surprisingly crunchy. They are widely used tossed in salads, pasta, omelets and scrambled eggs. Or you can add a few to white fish dishes or to cheese sauce to give that extra bite. For garnish and cooking break the flower into individual florets .

WARNING: Refrain from eating the whole flower as the pungency in that quantity can be overwhelming.

Citrus Trees
Citrus flowers are overwhelming in scent and flavor and go really well with many different foods from stir-fries to puddings. They are also ideal for crystallizing and decorating cakes or desserts.

The flowers are as adaptable as the leaves in a variety of different dishes. Scatter over cauliflower, add to the end of a stir-fry or add to cream cheese. Scatter a few flowers over an orange fruit salad.

These attractive flowers have no fragrance but do have a sweet-to-spicy clove-like flavor. They are ideal for mixing with other flowers to make attractive confetti for sprinkling over salads, omelets, and pasta dishes. They can be used on their own as a colorful garnish.

All squash flowers have a slightly sweet "nectar" taste. These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings, battered and deep fried or sautéed and added to pasta. Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or used to add color to salads.

Pull flowers apart for a mass of small quill petals ideal for creating a colorful garnish on desserts or soups, in salads or with savory dishes. Also make useful decorations for cakes, biscuits, mousses and pâtés. If you have hay fever, asthma or severe allergies, you should avoid eating flowers of the daisy family because they could trigger an allergic reaction.

Day Lily
Day lily petals are great in salads, hot and cold soups, cooked and served as a vegetable or chopped and added to stir-fries. Try sautéing the buds or flowers, which can then be stuffed with almost any filling.

WARNING: Only hemerocallis, the "Day Lily" can be eaten. Do not eat other types of lilies (Lillium) as they are poisonous.

Add flowers to fish dishes, omelets or sprinkle over cooked vegetables. Add whole flowers to pickled gherkins, cucumbers or beetroots for a milder flavor than dill seed.

Evening Primrose, Ozark Sundrops
The flowers have a similar taste to lettuce, so will make a fine addition to any green salad whilst also adding some color.

Feijoa sellowiana
The flower petals have a flavor often described as being similar to that of candy floss. The petals are ideal added to a fruit salad, smoothie, milkshake or an iced drink. The fruits can also be used in chutneys and tropical fruit salads.

The mild anise/licorice flavor combines well with fish, meat and vegetable dishes. Delicious added to cucumber or potato soup. Make fennel flower oil and use to baste pork chops on a barbecue.

Filipendula ulmaria
The sweetly scented flowers can be eaten in salads or added to homemade wine.

The stunning colors and graceful shape of fuchsias make them ideal as a green or fruit salad garnish. They look very decorative if crystallized or inserted into jelly. The berries are also edible and useful for making jams. Before eating the flower remove all green and brown bits and gently remove the stamen pistils as this will certainly enhance the petal flavor.

Garland Chrysanthemum
Petals are best quickly and lightly fried in vegetable oil before adding to soups, salads and stir-fries. Use the strongly spicy flavored flowers sparingly in salads or when making Japanese Chrysanthemum soup.

WARNING: Only chrysanthemum coronarium should be eaten; it is not advisable to eat other types of chrysanthemum.

Flowers taste similar to lettuce, and make a lovely receptacle for sweet or savory spreads or mousses. You could also toss individual petals in salads for color.

WARNING: It is best to must remove the anthers, take the middle of the blossom out before eating/ using.

Infuse the flowers to make a popular, mildly citrus-flavored tea. Add strips of vibrant colored petals to fruit salads. It is best to use the petals from the flower heads.

WARNING: If you use them whole, beware of the pollen.

The flowers can be crystallized and used to decorate cakes, mousses and roulades or try mixing them with salad leaves for a stunning dish. Flowers can also be used to make a subtly flavored syrup to add to various puddings.

WARNING: Before eating , remove the center stamen and any green bits.

Ideal for adding to soups or salads, or can be infused to make a refreshing tea. Hyssop also makes a perfect complement to fish and meat dishes.

Japanese Basil
The whole flower can be eaten, adding a spicy flavor to stir-fries, chicken or fish dishes.

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
The flowers are intensely fragrant and are traditionally used for scenting tea, but can also be added to shellfish dishes.

WARNING: Only jasmine officinale is edible. The false Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a completely different genus and is considered too poisonous for human consumption.

There are many ways to use lavender flowers, both in sweet or savory dishes. Make a delicious lavender sugar and add to biscuits, sorbets, jams or jellies. Add flowers to vegetable stock and create a tasty sauce for duck, chicken or lamb dishes.

WARNING: Lavender oil may be poisonous. No more than two undiluted drops should be taken internally.

Lemon Balm
The flowers are small, so are ideal for adding to salad dressings or soups. They can also be added to stuffing for poultry dishes too.

Mix fresh fragrant flowers with a little cream cheese and serve on crackers or stir flowers into yogurt to add a hint of lemon. Also useful as a garnish for cakes, scones or sweets.

The flowers and leaves have a citrus taste, making them ideal for adding to salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes or hot desserts.

WARNING: Marigolds may be harmful in large amounts. They should only be eaten occasionally and in moderation.

All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sautéed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add color to salads.

Mint/ Pennyroyal Mint
These tiny flowers pack a real punch and add that something extra to green salads, fruit salads, fresh strawberries, chocolate mousse or chocolate cake. Can also be used to decorate and flavor lamb dishes.

As well as being colorful, the petals have a sweet, spicy flavor and will enhance salads, jellies and stuffings, rice and pasta dishes. Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make delicious bergamot tea. Before using the flowers, only give them a minimal rinse with water so as not to diminish the fragrance.

Mooli Radish
The radish flowers flavor is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add color to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.

The fresh leaves and flowers have a peppery flavor similar to watercress. The flowers will add a spicy touch to salads and the green seeds can be chopped and used with parsley as a garnish or made into capers. Try them combined with cream cheese or butter in canapés, or in a cheese and tomato sandwich. Flowers can also be used to garnish steaks or casseroles.

Onion (Welsh/Spring)

Onion flowers offer an onion flavor, without the bite of an onion bulb. These are ideal for tossing in a salad or for mixing in with vegetables.

Wonderful added to tomato dishes, pizza and when making your own bread. Flowers can also be added to butter for flavor.

Ornamental Kale
The leaves can be picked while still young and will make a tasty and colorful addition to salads.

Flowers have a lettuce-like flavor and make a decorative addition to a green salad or to garnish a pâté or dessert. They can be crystallized and used to decorate cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

Pea (Vegetable Pea Flowers)

Flowers are slightly sweet and, surprisingly enough, taste like young peas. Delicious added to salads. Use candied flowers to decorate fish dishes or cakes. The shoots and vine tendrils are also edible and have the same delicate, pea-like flavor.

WARNING: Only vegetable pea flowers can be eaten, not sweet pea flowers which are toxic.

Perennial Phlox
These flowers have a slightly spicy taste. Great added to fruit salads and a colorful addition to any floral salad. As the flowers are small and colorful they are superb when crystallized and added as decoration to cakes or desserts.

WARNING: It is only this perennial phlox, not the annual, or the low-growing (creeping) phlox that is edible.

Polyanthus, Cowslip, Primrose
Popular as a garnish on salads. Remove the stalks so they sit open-faced on top of lettuce, cress etc. Crystallize or use in pancakes or cakes. Sprinkle fresh polyanthus blossoms in salads, adding a touch of color and a sweet taste. Flowers can be crystallized and used as decorations, making them ideal for special cakes and desserts, for example on Mother's Day or at Easter.

Pot Marigold
Calendulas have a slightly peppery taste and will add a light, tangy flavor to breads and soups, as well as adding a touch of color. They will make a bright and tasty addition to a tossed salad. You can use fresh or dried petals as an economical substitute for saffron for adding color to rice or butter. The fresh young leaves can also be used sparingly in salads.

All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste. These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sautéed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add color to salads.

Living Greens/ Microgreens/ Purple Radish
The flavor of radish flowers is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add color to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.

The flowers and the leaves have a spicy, peppery flavor, and are delicious added to a salad, rice or sprinkled over cooked French beans.

As a general rule if a rose smells good, it will taste good. Petals have a delicate flavor which will improve cool drinks and fruit dishes. Make a rose petal jam. Rosehips and petals can both be used in jellies. If the flowers are crystallized, they will make attractive cake decorations.

WARNING: It is best to remove the white heel from the base of the petals before eating.

Rosemary flowers and leaves can be used with poultry or pork - try adding a few flowers to biscuit dough to add flavor.

Runner Bean
Flowers can be eaten raw in salads, adding a mild bean flavor with a hint of nectar, or add to cooked runner bean dishes for decoration.

WARNING: Only scarlet-flowered runner beans are recommended for eating.

The flowers taste similar to the leaves and make a vibrant contribution to salads and pâtés, mustards and vinaigrettes.

Usually grown for its nutty flavored roots, but the young leaves are tasty in salads adding a mild nutty flavor. The flower buds should be picked just before they open with about three inches of stem attached. They can be lightly simmered and then eaten when cold in salads or as a garnish.

Scented pelargoniums
The leaves have a powerful citrus fragrance and will add flavor to cakes and meringue roulades. The flowers have a faint citrus flavor similar to the leaves and are ideal crystallized and scattered on desserts.

All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sautéed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add color to salads.

The flowers retain their strawberry fragrance as well as a milder strawberry flavor. Float petals in drinks, add to salads or candy them and add to desserts for decoration.

The buds, petals and seeds are all edible. Add the petals to a green salad for a color contrast and a mild nutty taste. The green buds can be blanched, then tossed in garlic butter; they are similar in flavor to a Jerusalem artichoke. The kernels inside the seeds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack.

Sweet Cicely
The sweet anise-flavored flowers are lovely added to apple, plum or rhubarb tarts.

Sweet Mace
Use the flowers of this attractive plant in salads and its leaves in soups and stews much like French tarragon.

Sweet Marjoram
Combines well with all chicken dishes and many fish recipes. Can also be made into a flavorful hot tea.

Sweet Rocket
This combines well with all chicken dishes and many fish recipes. Can also be made into a flavorsome hot tea.

Tulip petals have a sweet, pea-like flavor and a tender crisp texture. Try stuffing whole flowers with a shrimp or chicken salad. Add strips of petals to salads or sandwiches for that added touch of color.

WARNING: Carefully remove pollen and stigmas from the base of the flower before stuffing. Some people have had strong allergic reactions to tulips. If touching them causes a rash, numbness etc. - Don’t eat them! Don’t EVER eat the bulbs. If you have any doubts, don’t eat the flower.

Flowers have a lettuce-like flavor and make a decorative addition to a green salad or to garnish a pâté or dessert. They can be crystallized and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

The white yucca flower petals have a crunchy, mildly sweet taste with a hint of artichoke flavor. Delicious added to salads or used as a garnish.

Disclaimer: Please understand that you are solely responsible for the use of any information given on this site and use of any information will be at your own risk.

Photo credit: firstleaf / CC BY

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