Edible Flowers

Edible flowers are a great way to add interest to your garden and dinner plate.  Freshly picked and eaten raw, edible flowers can add a hint of spice to any salad or egg dish, as well as being a colorful garnish.

The best time to pick flowers is early morning before they receive the heat of the sun. Most often times it is the petal of the flower that is most desirable so you can discard the heel at the base of the petal, as well as stamens, pistil and calyx of large flowers. Gather your flower petals and put them in an air tight container in the fridge and use them within 3 days for best quality. To wash, gently dip the flower or petals in a bowl of water and gently shake to dry.

Choose flowers that are young and lively. Don’t pick faded, dusty, old or discolored flowers. It is also wise to not harvest edible flowers that have been treated with pesticides.

Here are some unique plants with tasty flowers worth exploring in your salads and dishes to come! We recommend these varieties:

Trees and shrubs

Camellias (Camellia spp.)
Citrus plants (Citrus spp.)
Apples (Malus spp.)
Pears (Pyrus spp.)
Peaches and Apricots (Prunus spp.)
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
Linden (Tilea spp.)
Magnolia (Magnolia grandifolia)
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana)
Lilac (Syrnga spp)
Passionflower (Passiflora spp.)
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Perennials:

Violets (Viola spp.)
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Sweet Woodruff (Gallium spp.)
Alliums (Allium spp.)
Bee-balm (Monarda spp.)
Hyssop (Agastache spp.)
Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Hollyhock and Checkermallow (Alcea spp and Sidalcea spp.)
Yucca (Yucca spp.)
Bellflower (Campanula spp.)
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra)
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila spp.)
Peony (Paeonia spp.)
Sage (Salvia spp.)
Carnation/Pink (Dianthus spp.)

Annuals:

Calendula
Hibiscus (Tropical)
Pansy (Viola spp.)
Scented Geranium (Pelargonium)
Primrose (Primula spp.)
Zinnia
Begonia
Nasturtium
Borage (Borago officionalis)
Fuchsia
Alyssum
Dahlia
Sunflower (Helianthus spp.)
Gladiolus
Sage (Salvia spp.)

Please note these three points of caution:

1) Just because the flowers are edible does not mean the rest of the plant is too

2) People with strong allergies should be cautious about eating flowers

3) Some plants have very tiny amounts of natural toxins in their flowers, including linden and apple – no problems if you eat in moderation.