Have you ever wondered which flowers you can eat? There are many edible flowers that are good for everything from salads, to dinners, to mixed drinks. If you always wanted to grow some flowers that are pretty enough to eat, here are 10 favorites to get you started!
Our Top 10 Edible Flowers:
1. Hibiscus flowers mingle cranberry and citrus flavors, making them perfect in cocktails, as a salad topping, or as an addition to your favorite tea.
2. Calendula. Saffron is pricey and that is why many gardeners replicate the beautiful deep orange coloring with calendula flowers, which have a mild citrus flavor.
3. Nasturtiums are peppery, easily used in place of pepper or watercress, or on salads. They also work well as a pretty and edible garnish.
4. Roses vary in taste from floral to gingery but they all make great additions to salads, jam, tea and even to cakes as a beautiful decoration.
5. Daylilies are delicious and can be eaten in four different ways: The flowers, the shoots, the bulbs or the unopened flower buds — all of which have a green vegetable flavor a bit like asparagus. Note: Daylilies are toxic to pets. They are edible to humans but are not to be confused with Asiatic lilies (Lilium asiatica), which can make you sick.
6. Squash Flowers. Zucchini, summer squash, pumpkin and other flowers from the squash family all tend to have a light flavor that makes them great in salads, as a pizza topper or stuffed with herbs, rice and cheese and then baked.
7. Chamomile. If you love herbal teas then chamomile is a must-have plant—and it doesn’t hurt that this plant’s ferny leaves and small daisy-like flowers make it stand out among your garden beds.
8. Chive Blossoms. The allium family of flowers is made up of plants like chives, onions, garlic, and shallots—all of which have beautiful clusters of flowers that can be used in addition to the greens and bulbs.
9. Bee Balm. This plant is a member of the mint family and as such, the flowers have a minty flavor. Dress up dishes and drinks that require mint by substituting bee balm flowers instead.
10. Borage. These brilliant blue flowers have been used for centuries in salads and their cool cucumber flavor is also an excellent addition to cocktails and other cool summery drinks.
Take Care In Identification
Before you start sampling the flowers in your garden, make sure to properly identify them. The edible flowers listed here along with many others make delicious and beautiful additions to all of your favorite foods and drinks.
Flowers To Never Eat:
- Daffodil – Do not eat any part of a daffodil, which contain the toxin lycorine.
- Poppy – All poppies are poisonous.
- Foxglove – These contain naturally-occurring poisons that affect the heart.
- Oleander – The whole plant is highly-toxic.
- Clematis – Mildly toxic, but toxic nonetheless. Contact with clematis (mouth or skin) can cause irritation.
- Bluebell – All parts of the bluebell contains toxic glycosides.
- Rhododendron – Its toxins can impact heart rhythm and blood pressure.
- Larkspur – This plant has toxic alkaloids that are fast-acting and potentially fatal.
- Hydrangea – The small amount of cyanide in Hydrangeas make them dangerous.
- Lily-of-the-Valley – Pretty, but they contain convallatoxin, which should not be ingested.
Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. She specializes in home, garden, environmental, and green living topics.