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Edible Flower In The Garden
You have beautiful flowers in your garden but do not know if you can eat these or you may
be planning to plant some edible plants in your garden. This is the guide to the edible
plants and flowers.
Not all flowers are edible; some may taste bad and some are poisonous. Eat flowers only if
you are certain they are edible. Consult a good reference book. A flower is not necessarily
edible because it is served with food. The flowers of most culinary herbs are safe to use.
Note: While the flowers mentioned in the edible flowers list are edible, other parts of the
plants mentioned in this list may be poisonous. Know what you're eating!
Allium blossoms (leeks, onion, garlic, chives, etc.)
Apple blossoms (Malus species) -- eat in moderation as they contain small amounts of
cyanide, just as apple wood, leaves, and seeds do.
Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) -- the immature flower bud is edible, the mature flower is
Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) -- Flowers have a milder taste than leaves, great in salads or as a
Bachelor's button (Centaurea cyanus) -- Petals only as garnish
Banana blossoms (Musa paradisiaca) – Used to make a side dish
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – Petals are used in salads and cooking. Are also added to tea
and give a lovely flavor
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Petals are used to garnish
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) -- The heads are composed of flower buds, flowers taste like
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – Petals- slightly bitter, used more for the color than the
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) -- Petals; remove bitter white base
Cauliflower -- The part you eat is made up of flower buds
Chamomile (Chamaemelum noblis) -- For tea; use in moderation. If you're allergic to
ragweed you may be allergic to chamomile as well.
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) – Petals are used in salads and garnish
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) – Petals are used as a garnish
Chives (Allium schoeonoprasum) – Petals - very strong onion taste
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum) -- Petals,
remove the bitter white base, strong flavor, used in tea
Citrus blossoms (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat) – As garnish
Clover -- Use in tea after drying the petals
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) The leaves are used as garnish and added to soups to
give a coriander flavor. An excellent Chutney (sauce) can be made with the leaves
Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) -- Use young flowers and buds, mature flowers are bitter
Dianthus -- Remove the bitter narrow base
Dill (Anethum graveolens) - Flowers and leaves
Daylilies (Hemerocallis) -- Buds, flowers, petals; eat in moderation, can have diuretic and
Elderflower (Sambucus species) -- Blossoms for tea; washing flowers removes much of the
Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) – Petals and complete flowers
Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) – Leaves - taste like lemon
Garland chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coronarium) – Petals used as garnish, added to
salads and soups
Garlic (Allium sativum) -- Garlic flowers have a mild garlic flavor and are nice in salads
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) - Petals
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) - Whole after removing the skin
Gladiolus -- remove anthers – Petals only
Green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens) -- Only the flowers are edible
Hesperis matronalis - Young leaves and flowers)
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – Flowers citrus flavor, often used as a garnish
Hollyhock (Althea rosea) – Flowers -vegetable flavor, often used as a garnish
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – Flowers - other species called "honeysuckle" are not
Jasmine (Jasminum sambac, Jasmine officinale) -- "false jasmine" is poisonous – Petals
Kachnar (Orchid Tree, Mountain-ebony) – The flowers buds make a delicious main dish –
Flowers used as garnish
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Petals - intense flavor
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) - Leaves
Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia, T. signata, T. patula) – Petals - wide variation in flavor, taste
Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Mint (Mentha species) – Leaves - there is a wide variation in flavor with mint flowers, taste
Moringa oleifera – Flowers and leaves
Mustard (Brassica species) -- Some people are highly allergic to mustard, start with a small
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) -- Nasturtium flowers have a spicy, peppery taste
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) - Flowers – Can be eaten in a salad. Make wonderful and
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) – The flowers can be added to salads, soups etc. The leaves
and seeds can also be used to give a pleasant taste and flavor
Pak Choy (Brassica chinensis) – All parts can be eaten
Pansy (Viola x Wittrockiana) – Petals
Passion flower (Passiflora spp.) -- vegetable flavor, often used as a garnish
Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) – Petals and leaves - minty, spicy flavor
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) – Petals
Primrose (Primula vulgaris) - Petals
Pumpkin blossoms – Complete flower – Make tasty “Pakoras”
Radish (Raphanus sativus) – Flowers and leaves in salads
Rose (Rosa spp.) -- Remove white bitter base of the petal. – used as garnish and to give a
rosy flavor to soups etc
Rosemary – Leaves – Used as a garnish – added to salads and soups
Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Flowers and leaves
Savory (Satureja hortensis) - Petals and leaves
Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium species) -- Flower tastes like the smell of the leaves
Signet marigold (Tagetes signata) -- eat in moderation, may be harmful in large amounts
Snapdragon (Anthirrhinum majus) -- Bitter flavor, usually used as a garnish
Squash blossoms – Make tasty pakpras – can be used as garnish
Strawberry flowers (Fragaria ananassa) – Used as garnish
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) -- Bud tastes like artichoke, petals have a bittersweet flavor.
Some people have allergic reactions to the pollen.
Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans) – Used for garnish
Thyme (Thymus species) - Leaves and petals are used as garnish and adding flavor to
Zucchini blossoms – Used for garnish
Some parts of edible plants are poisonous. Others may be edible only after appropriate
preparations (such as cooking or pickling).
Although every possible effort, has been made to inform you in these pages of toxic parts
of edible plants, or of flowers or plants that may be misidentified as edible, it is your
responsibility to determine the identity of any plant, the edible parts of that plant, and the
proper way to prepare the plant, before you eat it.
Only eat flowers which have been organically grown, because the sprays used on nonorganically grown flowers often are not safe to eat.
Allergic reactions are possible while eating any plant, especially from eating pollen, even if
you have done so safely before. Some flowers or plants are not safe if eaten often, or if
eaten by people with certain medical conditions. Please check with your health provider
before eating a new food if there is any question as to whether this food is safe for you.
BE SAFE! PREVENT ALLERGIC REACTIONS
Any new food, plant or flower could cause allergic reactions when eaten, which can become
To help prevent a serious allergic reaction, here are some steps to take when considering
any plant that you have never eaten before. Only go to the next step if your answer is "no".
Severe reactions such as shortness of breath, face swelling, or throat swelling are signs of
an extreme allergic reaction -- call for emergency medical attention immediately.
Touch the plant or flower part that you intend to eat with the back of your hand. Does it
irritate your skin or cause you to itch? If the answer is yes, STOP. You may be allergic to it.
Do not eat this.
Break off a small piece of the plant or flower part that you intend to eat and hold it next to
your inner wrist for 15 minutes. You can do this as you walk around the nursery. Does the
piece of plant cause redness, irritation, swelling, rash, or itching? If the answer is yes,
STOP. You may be having an allergic reaction to it. Do not eat this.
Place a piece of the plant or flower part that you're testing in your mouth and hold it there for
15 minutes. Was there any numbness, tingling, swelling, or burning in your mouth? If the
answer is yes, spit it out. You may be allergic to it. Do not eat this.
Prepare a small amount of the plant (1-3 spoonfuls) as recommended for that plant, and eat
it. Wait 24 hours. Did you have any symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, or diarrhea, or
feel unwell in any way after eating this plant? If the answer is yes, stop eating this plant. You
may be having an allergic reaction to it. If you have already bought the plant, either return it
to the store or exchange it with a friend who isn't allergic to it.
If all the answers have been "no", congratulations! You have found a new edible plant that
you are not allergic to. Don't forget to do this allergic reaction testing on family members,
especially children and the elderly, if they have never eaten this plant before.
Remember that food allergic reactions can develop over time, even in foods you have eaten
before, so if you have any of these symptoms after eating a certain food, consider reducing
your exposure to that food.
Recipes using edible flowers
There are so many edible flower recipes, something for every meal, breakfast, lunch and
Two of the favorite out of all my recipes using edible flowers are
Quick and Fragrant Stew
1-2 pounds top sirloin cut into 1 in cubes
2-3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup wine
2 cups broth chicken and vegetable broth with good results)
2-3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3-4 thin-skinned small potatoes, quartered
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves
1 sprig fresh lavender (leaves or flowers)
1-2 cups fresh or frozen peas (or you can use frozen mixed vegetables as I do)
Mix flour, pepper and salt, then dredge chicken cubes. Brown chicken cubest in oil then set
aside. Fry onion until soft, then deglaze pan with wine. Add broth, carrots, potatoes, thyme,
rosemary and lavender. Bring to a boil, then add meat and reduce to a simmer. When the
vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes) add peas (or mixed vegetables) and heat through
(3-4 minutes). Garnish with fresh lavender or rosemary flowers.
This tastes wonderful! You can substitute tofu, diced shiitake mushrooms, or the sirloin to
make this a vegetarian meal.
THE RECIPIE (Main Dish)
Kachnar flower buds 250 gm
1 thumb size piece
Dry mango powder
½ tea spoon
½ tea spoon
1 tea spoon
1 tea spoon
1 tea spoon
½ tea spoon
1 table spoon
some green coriander and basil leaves
Wash and boil the Kachnar flower pods till cooked. Drain out the water.
Cut the onion, tomato, ginger and garlic into small pieces.
In a frying pan add 1 table spoon vegetable oil and heat it.
Add Cumin powder and heat till brown.
Add onion pieces and stir fry till light brow.
Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala, Dry mango powder (Amchoor) and
fennel seeds and continue stir fry.
Add tomato and continue to stir fry till mixed well.
Add salt and mix all the ingredients well.
Add the cooked Kachnar flower pods and continue to stir fry till done.
Garnish with green coriander and basil leaves.
Kachnar flower pods
Kachnar Main Dish
Medicinal value: Its leaves bark and fruits have medicinal properties. Right from ancient
times, Kachnar has been famous for its curative effect on the enlargement of lymph glands.
Acharyas say that it is an excellent cleanser of wounds and killer of intestinal worms. The
green buds and bark of kachnar are good astringents.
Its decoction is also used for curing scrofula (glandular swelling), ulcers and skin diseases.
The usual dosage of dried and crushed parts of kachnar is three to six grammes. Fifty
milliliters of its decoction can be consumed. Overdose can cause nausea, which can be set
right by taking a little black salt along with lemon juice.