Edible Flowers

denlvspigs(so. CA)February 16, 2003

Hi, I'm new--my first time posting here! I've been reading and you guys sound fun and knowledgeable. Here's my question. I want to plant some things that will produce edible flowers. I'd like them to be small so I can include them is salads and as garnishes for the plate/serving tray. I have an idea to make edible flower vases made of hollowed out cucumbers (actually, I got it from Better Homes & Gardens) and besides baby lettuce and such, I want to actually put flowers in it. I know dandelions and nastregems (I know that's spelled wrong) are edible, but what else can I plant. By the way, I'm afraid to "plant" dandelions because I don't want them in the grass. I guess I could plant some in a pot or a flat. Has anybody ever done that? I'd like to get them in the ground ASAP so they are ready for use by Easter; I'm planning an Easter brunch. I'll wait anxiously for your answers. In the meantime, I'll keep reading, and maybe even post again.


P.S. I live in Southern California and it's warm enough to plant right now.

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Hi Denise,
Salvia greggii has lovely, slightly bitter (think arugula bitter)flowers that I have sprinkled in salads with a good result. They grow on a stem and are small. Depending on which one you buy they bloom in deep reds, coral, white, pink. You can also nibble on begonias.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 2:23PM
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Calendula,borage,johnny-jump-ups(actually, any of the violas are edible), and monarda(bee balm)all have edible flowers. And chives have a lovely flower that tastes slightly oniony.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 9:28PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Society Garlic (Tulbahgia) has large spicy garlic flavored flowers that are the most amazing lavender!
Scented Geraniums have edible blooms as well as culinary sages. Tuberous (non-stop) Begonias, borage, fuschia.

Be aware that some folks are allergic to some flowers...I cannot eat calendula without my throat closing up on me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 11:43PM
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Try roses. Some varieties are known for good flavored petals, some for big tangy hips, and some for both. Many Rugosas and their hybrids are good for eating. I'm not sure if anyone eats rose foliage though.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 10:53PM
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While surfing around, I found this whole page of edible flowers and tips about which parts to use. Also flowers to avoid eating. Enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Homecooking.about.com

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 3:49PM
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Nasturtiums are easy to grow and edible. One of the guys at the farmer's market I frequent always throws some into the greens he sells, and people just love it. Nasturtiums are also really easy to collect seeds from each year, so you only have to buy a packet of seeds once.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 4:09PM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

In an earlier post on elderberries, several folks recommended that the flowers are tasty. They bloom in Spring. Delina

    Bookmark   February 21, 2003 at 4:39PM
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Tsapatsaris(9 MID FL)

For color, I'd use violets (if you grow them yourself so you know they are free of truly bad chemicals.) I like various hibiscus flowers for salads, but they are larger. Here in Florida there is a dayflower (in the commelina familiy) that I use all the time for salads, it's nice and small and comes in red, white and blue. TSAPATSARIS (hoe Czar) PS: Edible wild plants is my speciality.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2003 at 8:02PM
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The flowers of the following plants are all edible.

acacia, angelica, alkanet, alexanders, almond, allyssum, anise, anise hyssop, apple blossom, banana, basil, bergamot, borage, burdock, calendula (marigold), chamomile, chicory, chives and garlic chives, clove pinks, coriander, cowslips, crucifix orchid, dandelion, day lily, elderflower, evening primrose, fennel, forget-me-not, fuschia, gardenia, garlic, ginger, hawthorn (may), heartsease, heliotrope, Japanese honeysuckle, jasmine (J. sambac), lady's smock, lawn daisy, lavender, lilac, lime blossom, loofah, lotus, lovage, marjoram, marshmallow, meadowsweet, milk thistle, mimosa, mints, mullein, musk mallow, mustard, nasturtium, orange blossom, onion, oregano, passionflower, peach blossom, primrose, primula, pumpkin, rose petals, rosella, rosemary, safflower, sage, scented geraniums leaves and flowers, Scots Thistle, snapdragon, St. John's wort, sunflower buds, salad rocket, soapwort, squash, sweet violet, sweet william, tansy, thyme, tulip, violet, viper's bugloss, wood betony, woodruff, yarrow, yucca, zucchini.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 12:20AM
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I ran across this a couple of days ago ...

It also includes pictures if you are unsure of what the plant/flower looks like

    Bookmark   March 15, 2003 at 1:12PM
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Okanagan(5b BC)

Has anyone here eaten dandelion FLOWERS??? I love the leaves, the the flowers stink. I can't imagine eating them. I'm prepared for you to change my mind, though. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2003 at 5:27PM
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'Edible' doesn't necessarily mean 'yummy' when it comes to eating flowers. I wouldn't eat dandelion flowers uncooked, but below are a couple of recipes which might tempt you, Okanagan! And make you change your mind!

Sautéed Dandelion Flowers
1 cup flour
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
24 dandelion blossoms
1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons oil

Thoroughly blend the dry ingredients and spread the mixture on a dinner plate. Swirl the oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat, until a pinch of flour sizzles and browns. Use a fork to roll five or six dandelion blossoms in the flour mixture. (They should be dewy from rinsing, but not wet.) Then drop them into the hot oil. Sauté lightly until golden, about 1 minute. Turn the fried blossoms onto paper towels and place them into a warm oven. Repeat with the rest of the blossoms, replenishing the oil as necessary. Serve hot.

Dandelion Fritters
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped dandelion flowers
1/2 cup strawberry jam

Mix the dry ingredients. Beat egg and add milk and oil. Stir into the dry mix. Add the dandelion flowers and blend. Lightly grease a frypan, drop in batter by spoonfuls and cook both sides until golden. Serve with strawberry jam.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2003 at 4:54AM
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I know it's a bit late for Easter (new to this forum), but I have dianthias growing in my garden and their bright petals make for a very happy salad!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2003 at 4:46PM
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hillbean(SE Japan)

Hey-don't forget chyrsanthamums! Both the leaces and the flowers are edible and regular items in Japanese grocery stores. Both are yum in tempura.

My favorite all tiem edible is good old pigweed. (Amaranth) The flower heads are edible (as are the leaves-lemony when young). I add the dried flowerheads which are full of seeds to my banana bread. It makes it rise more and the bread is much lighter than without. I just pick the flower heads(from roadside plants since this is just my first year of growing amaranth in my garden-my plants are all from-the-wild transplants-so far no flowers)by pulling my fingers over the spike and letting the seed pods AND whatever flowers are attached fall into a waiting plastic bag. I set the seeds outside in the sun for a day to give whatever bugs I have taken with along a chance to escape, then store the dried flowerheads and the nearly microscopic seeds in the seed cases in zip lock bag to use through out the year.
The leaves of amaranth, by the way are yummy in salad(when young) and super at any stage stir-fried or in curry.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 11:20AM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) has edible foliage and flowers with the flavour of, you guessed it, pineapple. Only the new leaves are flavourful, wouldn't bother with the old ones. The flowers are a beautiful red.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 3:18AM
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rivermint(Nth VIC Aust)

My families absolute favorite edible flower is that of the pineapple guava 'Feijoa sellowiana', so much so that we rarely get many fruit! The flowers are thick and fleshy, like a fruit themselves really. I discard the stamens etc (easy) and use these red and white delights sprinked over ice-cream (kids favorite) or in fruit salads. Sorry denlvspigs I realise that this will not help you short term. Should grow well where you live though as we share similar climates. Cheers.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 7:17PM
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To get the enjoyment of both fruit and flower of the feijoa, just pick the petals, leaving the rest of the flower parts intact, and you may get fruit also.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 3:25AM
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mollies(z5 Chicagoland)

For both roses and carnations, the big part of the petal is edible, but the base of the petal is very bitter. For roses, the more fragrant varieties are also the more flavorful varieties.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2004 at 7:02PM
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Hi everybody...I'm Italian and I'm writing, well...trying...to write a novel that's set on the Emerald Ireland ;) the place I most like in the world, as I lived there for a while. The story is partly set around Dublin, Sutton, more or less, and I would appreciate if you could suggest to me some nice plants that grow in gardens there beginning of July. Of course, if you could also give a couple of names of trees and flowers that are easily found in that area, summertime, I would be very glad to read them. Unless it's out of this forum's theme.
Thank you for your kind attention :)
God bless you

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 11:03AM
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chef_carson(z9,central fl)

If anyone is interested, I have quite an extensive list of edible flowers and their discription. It is too big to post here, but I can email it to you, or send via the usps.
While I'm here, does anyone know if blue plumbago is edible?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 5:40PM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

Please someone tell me more about these edible rose petals. =) Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 7:20PM
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WAIT WAIT WAIT, passionflowers are edible?!? Which types? I grow 10 or 11 different passiflora and I would love some of these beauties in my salad LOLS, that would make a great thing for the fourth of july fest (family tradition)!

any other easy edible flower??

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 9:32PM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

As it was previously stated, just because they're edible doesn't mean you will like them. Take the list from Homecooking or daisyduckworth and taste them (if you want to use them raw in salads) or do a search with recipe and the name of the flower.

Rose petals are easy - just do not use those with systemic or other pesticides on them (organic only). Snip off the thicker white base of the petal as it's bitter. Some taste better than others. You can candy them too (eggwhite and sugar crystals) or make rose jelly.

Manuela, I don't live in Ireland - but you can start with the link below and look up the flowers that interest you to see what their bloom period is. As I recall the Rowan tree is commonly planted as a doorway tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Irish wildflowers

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 2:55PM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

wow great post, I will be trying some of these recipes and flowers this year as the flowers come along! I cant wait and hope this post continues with even more ideas!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 11:17PM
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Here's my favorite flower recipe. It makes an unexpectedly beautiful & simple summer meal. You just need pasta, fresh ricotta cheese (get a delicate & fresh one if you can rather than Polly-O), nutmeg, salt, pepper & nasturtiums (torn into small pieces). Boil the pasta (penne works nicely), reserve a bit of the water and mix it into the ricotta to make it slighly saucy, add some fresh grated nutmeg, salt, pepper and toss it into the pasta, then toss in the nasturtiums. It's simple, beautiful & delicious!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 11:32PM
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whitejade(z5 MI)

I LOVE dandelion flowers - but the only way I've made them is into fritters. (a batter type thing that is then lightly fried - not deep fried, just sauteed strongly) Around here I don't get enough dandelion flowers since the rabbits eat them first !

I started getting more serious about edible flowers about 5 years ago and can't imagine a good life without them now...we look forward to certain things, like making mashed potatoes and putting chive flowers in it for spring (gorgeous and tasty) ....and I like to munch on Stella d'oro daylily petals - they taste like crisp, sligtly sweet lettuce. Rice with calendula petals and of course salads with nasturtium blossoms. And there are about 15 others that I rarely get around to using but I enjoy knowing they are edible - they are beautiful plants to enjoy in the garden or on a plate!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:36PM
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You could try Agaves. They take awhile to flower but when they do they're pretty amazing

Here is a link that might be useful: Agaves

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:39PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I love eating passion flowers. I really love placing one in a glass of white wine and enjoy the fragrance and beauty of the flower while sipping. When the glass is empty, I then eat the wine infused flower.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 2:04PM
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