Flowers You Can Eat in Salads and More

Some flowers can be eaten by adding the petals to salads or by using them to flavor such things as butters, vinegars, or oils. Some can also be candied and used as garnishes for desserts.

nasturtiumA list of some edible flower petals includes:

  • calendula (aka Pot Marigold)
  • chervil
  • chives
  • common "English" daisies
  • dandelions
  • daylilies
  • dill
  • fennel
  • honeysuckles
  • nasturtiums
  • lavender
  • roses
  • scented geraniums (avoid the citronella/lemon variety)
  • violet blossoms
  • zucchini blossoms (male)*

Some ideas:

  • Stuff male zucchini blossoms or daylily blossoms and/or batter fry
  • Try nasturtiums on a sandwich with tuna
  • Try adding rose petals to cream cheese
  • Add calendula petals to cakes, breads, and muffins for color
  • Add nasturtium flowers to salads, soups, and rice dishes
  • Nasturtium blossoms stuffed with chicken or egg salad is delightful
  • Use violet blossoms as a beautiful and edible garnish for salads
  • Make syrups and jams – here's a recipe to try for Violet Syrup

*How to tell the difference between a male and female zucchini blossom? Female squash blossoms have a swollen area (fruit) at the base of the bud and male blossoms do not. Male blossoms are also typically found at the end of a fairly long stem, where female blossoms typically have a shorter stem.

Some precautions:

In most cases, you should only eat the petals themselves.

Make sure that if pesticides have been used, they are the types that are safe for use on edible crops.

Do not eat flowers from garden centers, nurseries, and florists, or flowers that you are not sure how they have been treated with regard to pesticides.

If you have inhalant allergies / hayfever, it may be best to avoid eating flower petals.

Eat in very small quantities and only try one type at a time.

It is advised to check with your local poison control center if in doubt of whether particular plants or parts of a particular plant are safe to ingest.

Further reading:
The Edible Flower Garden (Edible Garden Series)
Taylor's 50 Best Herbs and Edible Flowers: Easy Plants for More Beautiful Gardens (Taylor's 50 Best)

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