Have you ever seen a towering wedding cake or a lush salad, decorated with delicate little flowers and thought to yourself, “man, I wish I could be that creative”? Well, it’s easier than you think! A lot of common flowers that you may already have in your garden are edible, it’s just a matter of knowing which ones. The following list outlines some of the most popular blooms you can use to spice up your dishes!
Before you pick:
Since you’ll likely be consuming these flowers, make sure you use Earth Safe’s organic products to avoid any harsh chemicals. In addition, follow the below tips to ensure you’re enjoying your blooms safely:
Only eat flowers that you know for a fact are consumable. Just because it’s pretty or grew in your yard doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. If you are unsure, consult a reliable source, such as a reference guide for edible plants. NEVER eat something you aren’t sure about.
Eat flowers that you have grown yourself, or were purposely grown for eating purposes. Plants from nurseries, grocery stores, etc. may have been treated with pesticides and can be harmful if consumed.
Never eat flowers that are along roadsides or in public spaces, like parks or community gardens. You don’t know if they have been sprayed with chemicals, or if they are contaminated from pollution.
Only eat the petals. Pistils and stems are not edible.
Be aware of allergies. It is likely that you could react poorly to eating these flowers, especially if you have never interacted with them before. Consult a doctor if you are concerned.
If you want to preserve the flowers for a few days before you use them, place them on a cold, wet paper towel in an air-tight container in the fridge. This can keep them fresh for up to 10 days. You can even freeze your buds into ice cubes to liven up your favourite drinks.
Arugula blossoms are peppery and a bit mellower tasting than the leaves themselves.
Once this plant begins to bolt, the leaves are not very enjoyable to eat anymore but the flowers may be eaten. These blossoms can be white, pink or lavender, and they taste similar to the leaves, just milder.
With their fuzzy leaves and beautiful blue hue, these blooms have a soft cucumber taste.
With a taste similar to their perfumey scent, these petals are great when plucked away from their base.
These daisy look-alikes have a sweet flavor. Note: Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.
A chive blossom is rather big and fluffy, making for quite the mouthful on its own. For a more appealing bite, pick the puffs apart in to tiny pieces.
Either white or purple, these puffy buds are sweet with a hint of licorice.
These dainty blossoms offer a light flavor, similar to licorice.
These buds are a beautiful blue-purple, which have an earthy taste to them.
These flowers are fairly bitter, and pungent at times, but they come in a wide range of colours. Use only the petals for consumption.
The little white flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they quickly lose shape when heated.
Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and very fragrant. If you can get your hands on these guys, use them sparingly – they’re incredibly potent.
The gorgeous blue petals of cornflower have a slightly spicy flavour with a bit of sweetness. They’re easier to incorporate when picked apart.
These blooms are very small and yellow. Use them as soon as they open, as they seed quickly and are no longer edible at this point.
Edible Pea flowers (Pisum sativum)
Flowers are slightly sweet and taste a bit like the peas themselves, but please be careful – Ornamental Sweet Peas are poisonous.
While very pretty, these are not very pleasant to eat on their own, as they have a very bitter taste.
Yellow fennel flowers have a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.
These exotic-looking beauties make for a stunning garnish. Be careful not to use the flowers unless you know that they have not been sprayed with any chemicals though.
Although bland tasting, their petals can be removed and used as a pretty garnish.
These exotic flowers have a vibrant cranberry flavor that is tart and should be used sparingly.
While these beautiful buds put on a good show, they taste incredibly bland. Ensure you are only using the petals if you choose to incorporate Hollyhock in to your dishes.
These blooms can be plain white, soft pink, or bright red, but they usually all have a fairly sweet taste to them.
These super-fragrant white blooms should be used carefully, as their flavour is highly potent.
These flowers have a subtle minty, leafy flavor to them. Their colourful petals make for fantastic decoration.
Use these flowers sparingly, as their sweet, spicy, and fragrant nature tend to overpower.
Lilac has a very floral, almost perfumey flavour with lemony notes. Use lightly in your recipes.
Also known as calendula, these blossoms are peppery, tangy, and a bit spicy.
All varieties of this plant produce flowers that taste like a milder version of its leaves.
These blossoms are brightly colored with a sweet and peppery finish. These are good for stuffing as well.
The petals are mostly tasteless, with a grassy note. If you eat the whole flower you get more flavour out of it.
All roses are edible, but different varieties have more distinct flavour. Pluck the petals carefully from the base before use.
These purple blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.
Squash and pumpkin
Remove these flowers from their stems before use. They boast a mild squash flavour, and are great for stuffing.
These bitter petals add a vibrant splash of colour to any dish.
These striking, purple blooms are fragrant and a bit sweet.
Strawberry blossoms are edible raw though most people usually just wait for the fruit. The leaves are edible as well but are not as appealing.