15 Edible Flowers To Grow

Edible flowers can offer beautiful and unique textures, joyful color, and intriguing taste to your next plate.  Many are grown as annuals — plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season — and are easy to grow in garden beds, raised beds and containers. 

Flowers are best fresh when eaten a few hours after picking, so growing your own makes sense. And it’s really no different from growing flowers for their ornamental appeal.  Plus you know they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.  Read on for my favorite 15 Edible Flowers To Grow …

The No. 1 rule of edible flowers is knowing how to identify them. Pick edible flowers on a dry, sunny day. Most flowers should be picked when they have fully bloomed and are not yet starting to wilt. Rinse the flowers quickly under cold water or swirl them in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt and tiny insects. Then, gently shake off the water but not so vigorously that you remove the pollen, which often has a lot of flavor.

15 Edible Flowers

 

Overall, the taste of edible flowers is fairly subtle. Toss a few into an ice cube tray and freeze to transform any drink instantly. Sprinkle onto salads for a stunning effect. Use to make tasty tea or flavored waters … even bake them into your next tray of cookies and amaze everyone with your eye-catching treats!

WARNING …  Edible flowers must be organically grown. Only use flowers from locations where no herbicides or pesticides have been sprayed. A lot of flowers from nurseries and florists are heavily treated with chemicals and not fit for consumption. Growing your own edible flowers from seed is often the safest option.

For most edible flowers, it is best to just eat the petals. Even if one part of the plant is safe to eat, do not assume that all parts are safe. Often only a particular part of the plant is edible. Remove stamens and pistils from flowers and eat only the petals. 

Edible Flowers in Salad

15 Edible Flowers You Can Grow in Your Garden

1.)  Bee Balm –

Bee balm is a perennial with spiky, tubular flowers. Both the fresh leaves and flowers are edible. It’s great for homemade butter, teas, salad garnish, and to infuse in ice cream. Bee Balm flowers have a citrusy, sweet, hot, minty flavor; flower taste may differ by species or cultivar and red flowers are said to have the best flavor. 

2.) Chamomile –

Flowers have an apple scent and flavor for tea; use fresh or dried. Both species of chamomile (German and Roman) are edible. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is sweeter and thus preferred for culinary purposes.

3.) Chrysanthemum –

The flowers of this perennial are edible, but the potted mums sold each fall at nurseries are treated with lots of chemicals and thus not suitable for eating. For eating, grow garland chrysanthemums (Glebionis coronaria) from seed, planting after the threat of frost has passed. The flowers have a tangy, herbal, grassy, and slightly bitter flavor. They’re good fresh or dried to garnish soups and salads.

Edible Flowers Decorate Cake

4. Cornflower –

Cornflowers, also known as bachelor’s buttons, are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a mildly sweet and spicy flavor with a clove-like aroma and come in many colors, including blue, pink, and purple.

5. Daylily –

Flower bud flavor compares to green beans and eggplant, but open flower flavor is milder. Use daylily petals in pancakes, frittatas, and dips.  Dried buds are used in Chinese sweet and sour soup; the flavor will vary between cultivars.

6. Hibiscus –

The large, vibrant flowers of this tropical shrub can be eaten raw or dried. Hibiscus have a subtly sweet and tart, cranberry- or pomegranate-like flavor. Plus they’re ideal to infuse in drinks, including ice tea and cocktails, as well as to use in ice cream and other desserts. The dried flowers also can be used in tea. 

Edible flowers hibiscus

7. Honeysuckle –

Enjoy the nectar fresh, or use petals to make a syrup, pudding, or a tea. The flowers of the Honeysuckle bush bloom during the spring and into the summer, and later in the growing season, the flowers turn into berries. Honeysuckle berries are not safe to eat and can cause illness if consumed in large quantities.

8. Lavender –

Harvest the stalks with the flowers when only about a third to a half of the florets have opened. Do not wash them. Tie the stalks in bundles, and hang them upside down to dry in a well-ventilated location. Lavender has a floral, herbaceous, and sweet flavor with notes of mint, citrus, and rosemary. They’re good in marinades, desserts, drinks, and jellies. Use sparingly as they can be overpowering.

9. Marigold –

Marigold is one of the popular edible flowers which has been used from ancient times. The Tagetes hybrids or Calendula members are generally the cultivars used for growing edible marigold flowers. It has a sweet fragrance and is an excellent substitute for French tarragon. The flowers and foliage have a licorice taste and are popular for garnishes and flavoring dishes.

edible marigolds

10. Nasturtiums – 

Most people know them from gardens, but nasturtium leaves and flowers are both edible and delicious. Tasting peppery, like watercress, these make a lovely salad addition. The leaves start out sweet, and end spicy and hot, a bit like mustard greens or cress picked in the summer. The flowers have a pleasant flavor, and taste just like you’d imagine a flower would taste: aromatic and floral.

11. Pansies –

Pansies have a pretty mild flavor and scent. In fact I would say they’re mostly included in recipes for their looks. They are kind of grassy in taste.  At the very least, if you’re not interested in eating them, you can still include edible flowers as a pretty garnish. Arrange pansies atop baked goods, among appetizers, on thick soups, on cakes … because of their mild flavor, they can be added to both savory dishes and desserts.

12. Rose –

A good rule of thumb for choosing a flavorful rose is that if it smells pleasant, it’ll probably taste good, too. Only eat the petals, though, because the leaves and stems don’t make a very palatable snack. Rose petals have a very aromatic, floral and slightly sweet flavor. They can be eaten raw, mixed into various fruit or green salads or dried and added to granola or mixed herbs.

13. Squash Blossom –

Squash flowers are just as edible as the summer squash itself. Although these blossoms form on all types of squash, the most popular come from zucchini. Zucchini flowers are bright yellow with a long, rounded bell shape. These tasty flowers can be eaten raw as a garnish or chopped and added to salads. If you’re feeling indulgent, another delicious option is to stuff the blossoms with herbed cheese and fry or bake them until the delicate petals become crispy.

14. Sunflower –

Did you know that more than just the seeds of a sunflower are edible? Almost every part of this tall, beautiful plant is completely safe (and delicious) to eat when cooked and combined with the right ingredients.One of the many edible flowers, sunflowers have colorful petals that can be used in salads or as a pretty garnish. And the greens can be used in the salad, too, or even sauteed like spinach or baked into chips like kale.

15. Violet –

Violets / Violas can be used as a garnish for salads, omelets, cakes, and desserts. They have a sweet, floral taste. Charming violets can also be used to flavor vinegar and syrup, or dried for later use in candy, cookies, and cakes. The flowers can also be crystallized and used as edible decorations. To make candied violets, you can dip the flowers in egg white and then confectioners’ sugar.

https://www.flowerchick.com/15-edible-flowers-to-grow/

 

Note:    Like any type of food, some people may still have sensitivity or reactions to plants deemed safe to eat. Try plants that are new to your palate in small amounts until you see how your body responds.

 

All of these 15 Edible Flowers To Grow can be grown in your backyard and serve multiple purposes. Whether you want to cut flowers to put on your table or pick them for baking or cooking or salad garnish, it’s entirely up to you! As long as you avoid pesticides, they’re entirely safe to eat. Please also remember that if you’re in any doubt as to whether they are an edible variety, it’s best to just give them a pass!

 

Leave a Reply