Edible Flowers

Hello,

I have just come across this fabulous list of edible flowers from the Thompson and Morgan website, and thought I should share. Please note the disclaimer below, it goes double for me!

If you have any recipes using edible flowers, please feel free to share 🙂 Thanks.

SOURCE: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/edible-flowers

Disclaimer: Thompson & Morgan have thoroughly researched all the aforementioned edible flowers. However, individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed here do so entirely at their own risk. Thompson & Morgan can not be held responsible for any adverse reaction to the flowers.

Common Name Botanical Name Edible Tip CAUTION
Agastache Agastache anisata, Agastache foeniculum Both flowers and leaves have a delicate, fragrant taste. Ideal for adding to cakes for that hint of anise flavour , or add the leaves and flowers to whipping cream for a creamy licorice flavour. If you are pregnant, be sure to research possible contraindications to using this herb.
Apple/ Crab Apple Malus domestica, Malus x robusta, Malus x zumi Apple blossoms have a slightly floral taste. The petals are lovely in salads. Infuse petals in whipped cream or icecream to go over an apple tart. Float blossoms in a fruit punch.
Basil Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum minimum, Ocimum x citriodorum Flowers can be used as a substitute to leaves in any dish requiring basil . Flowers should be used more sparingly due to their intense pungency. Delicious add to salads , soups or pasta.
Begonia Begonia x tuberhybrida Flowers have a delicious light , lemon taste and crisp texture. Use sliced petals as a garnish in salads and sandwiches. Dip whole petals in in flavoured yoghurt and serve as an appetizer. Only tuberous begonia petals are edible. The flowers and stems contain oxalic acid and should only be eaten in moderation. Begonia flowers should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidneystones, or rheumatism.
Biennial Clary Salvia sclarea Flowers have a very aromatic flavour and being pastel shades make a lovely contrast in salads.
Borage Borago officinalis Mix flowers into vegetable and fruit salads, or use to garnish soups or decorate desserts. Excellent frozen in ice cubes and floated on iced tea. Petals have a cucumber taste and the stamens add a hint of sweetness. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid borage flowers, as more than eight to ten flowers can cause milk to flow. Borage can have a diuretic effect and should be used in moderation as some studies suggest that overconsumption can cause kidney problems.
Busy Lizzie Impatiens walleriana The flowers come in many colours and look attractive as  a garnish in salads or floated in drinks.
Cape Jasmine Gardenia jasminoides These extremely fragrant blooms are edible and can be used to make pickles , preserves and jams , or shredded and added as flavouring to cakes.
Carnation/ Pinks Dianthus amurensis, Dianthus barbatus, Dianthus caryophyllus, Dianthus chinensis, Dianthus deltoides, Dianthus plumarius, Dianthus superbus Most pinks have pleasant spicy, floral clovelike taste. Ideal for decorating or adding into cakes. Makes a colourful garnish to soups, salads and the punch bowl. It is advisable to remove the white heel at the base of the petal as this has a bitter taste.
Catmint Nepeta cataria The small flowers have an aromatic , strong mint/spice flavour so use sparingly when cooking. Ideal for adding that extra bite to pasta,rice and all types of vegetables . Also compliments meat dishes like lamb. Not recommended to eat during pregnancy.
Chicory, Raddichio Cichorium intybus Flower buds can be pickled or the flowers have a mild lettuce flavour and make a decorative addition to salads. Blooms look attractive frozen in ice and added to drinks. Contact with all parts of the plant can irritate the skin or aggravate skin allergies.
Chinese Radish Raphanus sativus The radish flowers flavour  is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add colour to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.
Chives/ Chinese Chives Allium schoenoprasum, Allium tuberosum, Chive flowers have a mild onion flavour and are suprisingly cunchy . Can be widely used tossed in salads, pasta , omelettes and scrambled eggs . Or add to a white fish or cheese sauce to give  that extra bite. As tempting it may be to pop the whole flower into your mouth, refrain from doing so as the pungency in that quantity can be overwhelming. For garnish and cooking break the flower into individual florets .
Citrus Trees Citrus aurantium, Citrus limon, Citrus x latifolia Citrus flowers are overwhelming in scent and flavour and go really well with many different foods from stir fry to puddings. Ideal for Crstalising and adding to cakes .
Coriander Coriandrum sativum The flowers are as adaptable as the leaves in a number of different dishes. Scatter over cauliflower, add to the end of a stir fry or add to cream cheese. Scatter a few flowers over an orange fruit salad , as the flavour of the flowers will compliment the tang of the orange.
Cornflower Centaurea cyanus Flowers have no fragrance but a sweet to spicy clove like flavour.  Ideal for mixing with other flowers to make an attractive confetti for sprinkling over salads, omelettes, and pasta dishes. Or use them on their own as an attaractive garnish.
Courgette Cucurbita pepo All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sauteed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add colour  to salads.
Cultivated Rocket Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa The flowers and the leaves have a spicy , peppery flavour, and are delicious added to a sald, rice or over cooked french beans. Add whole flowers to taramasalata and serve with hot brown toast.
Daisy Bellis perennis Pull flowers apart for a mass of small quill petals ideal for creating a colourful garnish on desserts or soups, in salads or with savoury dishes. Also useful to decorate cakes, cookies , mousses and pates. Avoid eating members of the daisy family if you have hay fever , asthma or severe allergies as they could trigger an allergic reaction.
Daylily Hemerocallis Daylily petals are great in salads, hot and cold soups, cooked and served as a vegetable or chopped and added to stir fries. Saute the buds or flowers can be stuffed with almost any filling. Do not eat other types of lilies (e.g Lillium)  as they are poisonous .
Dill Anethum graveolens Add  flowers to fish dishes, omelettesor sprinled over cooked vegetables. Add whole flowers to pickled gherkins, cucumbers or beetroots for a milder flavour than using dill seed.
Evening Primrose, Ozark Sundrops Oenothera macrocarpa, Oenothera odorata, Oenothera versicolor, Oenothera speciosa, Oenothera missouriensis Evening primrose flowers have a similar taste to lettuce, so makes a fine addition to a green salad.
Feijoa sellowiana The flower petals have a flavour often described as similar to Candyfloss . The petals are ideal added to a fruit salad , smoothie or milkshake or cold drink . The fruits can be used in chutneys and tropical fruit salads.
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare The mild anise/ licorice flavour combines well with fish, meat and vegetable dishes. Delicious added to cucumber or potato soup. Make fennel flower oil and use to baste pork chops on a barbecue.
Filipendula ulmaria These rich sweetly scented flowers can be eaten in salads, or added to make homebrew wine.
Fuchsia Flowers are in explosive colors and a graceful shape, making them  ideal as a green or fruit  salad garnish. Very decorative if crystalised or inserted into jelly . The berries are also edible and useful for making jams. Before eating the flower remove all green and brown bits and gently remove the stamen pistils as this will certainly enhance the petal flavour.
Garland Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum coronarium Petals are best quickly and lightly fried in vegetable oil before adding to soups , salads and stirfries. Only Chrysanthemum coronarium should be eaten , it is not adviseable to eat other tpes of Chrysanthemum .
Gladiolus Flowers taste similar to lettuce , and make lovely receptacles for sweet or savory spreads or mousses. Toss individual petals in salads for colour . It is best to must remove the anthers, take the middle of the blossom out before eating/ using.
Hibiscus Flowers make a very popular tea. Petals impart a mild citrus flavour. Add strips of vibrant coloured petals to fruit salads. Use petals from the flower heads or use whole but beware of the pollen.
Hollyhock Alcea rosea The flowers can be crystallised and used on cakes , mousses and roulades or mix them with salad leaves for a stunning dish . Flowers can also be made into a very subtle flavoured syrup and added to various puddings. Before eating , remove the centre stamen and any green bits.
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Ideal added to soups or salads or used to make a refreshing hyssop tea. Perfect acompliment to fish and meat dishes.
Japanese Basil Perilla frutescens The whole flower can be eaten, adding a spicy flavour to Stir frys, chicken or fish dishes.
Jasmine Jasminum officinale The flowers are intensely fragrant and are traditionally used for scenting tea, can also be added to shell fish dishes . Only Jasmine officinale is edible . The false Jasmine is in a completely different genus, “Gelsemium”, and family, “Loganiaceae”, is considered too poisonous for human consumption. This flower has a number of common names including yellow jessamine or jasmine, Carolina jasmine or jessamine, evening trumpetflower, gelsemium, and woodbine.
Lavender Lavandula multifida, Lavandula stoechas, Lavandula angustifolia There are many ways to use lavender flowers, both in sweet or savoury dishes. Make a delicious lavender sugar and add to cookies, sorbets, jams or jellies. Add to vegetable stock and create a sauce for duck , chicken or lamb dishes. Lavender Oil may be poisonous . No more than two undiluted drops should be taken internally
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis The flowers are small , so ideal for adding to salad dressings or soups, or added to stuffins for poultry dishes.
Lilac Syringa vulgaris Mix fresh fragrant flowers with a little cream cheese and serve on crackers or stir flowers into yougurt to add a hint of lemon.  Useful to garnish cakes, scones or sweets.
Living Greens/ Microgreens/ Purple Radish Raphanus sativus The radish flowers flavour  is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add colour to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.
Marigold Tagetes patula, Tagetes tenuifolia, Tagetes patula x erecta The flowers and leaves have a citrus taste. Ideal for adding to salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes  or hot desserts. Marigolds may be harmful in large quantities. These should  be eaten occasionally and only in moderation.
Marrow Cucurbita pepo All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sauteed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add colour  to salads.
Mint/ Pennyroyal Mint Mentha x piperita, Mentha pulegium, Mentha suaveolens, Mentha x gracilis, Mentha spicata These tiny flowers pack a real punch and add that something extra to green salads, fruit salads, fresh strawberries, chocolate mousse or chocolate cake.
Monarda/ Bergamot Monarda citriodora subsp. Astromontana, Monarda didyma As well as being colourful the petals have a sweet, spicy flavour and will enhance salads , jellies , stuffings , rice and pasta dishes. Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make bergamot tea. Only give flowers minimal washing otherwise the fragrance will be diminished.
Mooli Radish Raphanus sativus The radish flowers flavour  is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add colour to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.
Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus, Tropaeolum minus The fresh leaves and flowershave a peppery flavour similar to watercress. The flowers add a spicy touch to salads and the green seeds can be chopped and used with parsley as a garnish or made into capers. Try them combined with cream cheese or butter in canapes , or in a cheese and tomato sandwich. Can also be used to garnish steaks, casselores or salads.
Onion (Welsh/ Spring) Allium fistulosum Onion flowers offer a onion flavour, without the bite of an onion bulb. Ideal for tossing in a salad or for mixing in with vegetables.
Oregano Origanum vulgare Wonderful in tomato dishes , on pizza and added to fresh bread. Flowers can also be added to a little butter for a tasty appetizer.
Ornamental Kale Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) The leaves picked while still young make a tasty and colourful addition to salads
Pansy Viola x wittrockiana Flowers have a lettuce like flavour and make a decorative addition to a green salad or to garnish a pate or dessert. They can be crystallised and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.
Pea Pisum sativum Flowers are slightly sweet and surprisingly enough taste like young peas. Delicious added to salads . Use candied flowers to decorate fish dishes or cakes. The shoots and vine tendrils are edible, with a delicate, pea-like flavour also . Only vegetable pea flowers can be eaten , not sweet pea flowers which are toxic.
Perennial Phlox Phlox paniculata Flowers have a slightly spicy taste. Great in fruit salads . Also a colourful addition to any floral salad . Supeb crystalised and added as decoration to cakes or desserts. It is only this perennial phlox that is edible.  Annual Phlox and the  low-growing (Creeping) phlox are not edible.
Polyanthus, Cowslip, Primrose, Primula Primula, Primula vulgaris, Primula veris, Primula hybrida Sprinkle fresh blossoms in salads adding a touch of colour and a sweet taste. Flowers can be crystallised and used as decorations on cakes or desserts , ideal for that something different at mothers day or Easter.
Poppy Papaver somniferum, Papaver paeoniflorum Poppy seeds make a great toppings for bread, and are an essential ingredient for lemon and poppy seed muffins All poppies are poisonous. However the seeds produced from Papaver somniferum and Papaver paeoniflorum can be eaten. The seeds of other species are not edible.
Pot Marigold Calendula officinalis Calendulas have a slightly peppery taste and will add a light, tangy flavour to breads, salads and soups as well as a touch of colour. They will make a bright and tasty addition to a tossed salad.  Fresh or dried petals can be used as an economical substitute for Saffron for adding colour to rice or butter.
Pumpkin Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sauteed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add colour  to salads.
Radish Raphanus sativus The radish flowers flavour  is a milder version of the spicy root, making it ideal to add colour to the top of a salad or sprinkle over cooked vegetables to add a little spice.
Rocket Eruca vesicaria, Diplotaxis muralis The flowers and the leaves have a spicy , peppery flavour, and are delicious added to a sald, rice or over cooked french beans. Add whole flowers to taramasalata and serve with hot brown toast.
Rose Rosa As a general rule if a rose smells good it will taste good . Petals have a delicate fruity flavour which will improve cool drinks and fruit dishes , or why not try rose petal jam. Rose hips and petals can both be used in jellies . Crystallised flowers make attractive cake decorations. It is best to remove the white heel from the base of the petals before eating.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary flowers and leaves can be used with poultry or pork. Add a few flowers to biscuit dough to add flavour.
Runner Bean Phaseolus coccineus Ideal eaten raw in salads , adding a mild bean flavour with a hint of nectar, or add to cooked bean dishes for decoration. Only the flowers of Scarlet Runner Beans are recommended for eating.
Sage Salvia officinalis The flowers taste similar to the leaves and make a vibrant contribution to salads and pates, mustards and vinaigrettes.
Salsify Tragopogon porrifolius Usually grown for its nutty flavoured roots , but the young leaves are good in salads adding a mild nutty flavour.  The flower buds are picked just before they open, with about three inches of stem attached. They are lightly simmered and then eaten when cold in salads or as a garnish.
Scented pelargoniums Geranium clorinda, Geranium fragrans, Geranium graveolens, Geranium quercifolia, Geranium tomentosum The leaves have a powerful citrus  fragrance and  will add flavour to cakes and meringue roulades. The flowers have a faint citrus  flavour similar to the leaves and are ideal crystalised and scattered on desserts.
Squash Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima All squash flowers have a slightly sweet nectar taste . These can be stuffed with cheeses and other fillings , battered and deep fried or sauteed and added to pasta . Thinly sliced blossoms can be added to soups, omelets, scrambled egg or add colour  to salads.
Strawberry Fragaria x ananassa, Fragaria vesca The flowers retain the strawberry fragrance as well as a milder strawberry flavor . Float petals in drinks, add to salads, or candy them and add to desserts.
Sunflower Helianthus annuus The buds , petals and seeds are all edible. Add the petals to a green salad for a colour contrast and a mild nutty taste. Green buds can be blanched then tossed in garlic butter , and are equal in flavour to jerusalem artichokes. The kernels inside the seeds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack.
Sweet Cicely Myrrhis odorata The sweet anise flavour is lovely added to apple, plum or rhubarb tarts.
Sweet Mace Tagetes lucida Use the flowers of this attractive plant in salads and its leaves in soups and stews much like French Tarragon which are more aniseed than standard tarragon.
Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana Combines well with all chicken dishes and many fish recipes. Can also be made into a flavoursome hot tea.
Sweet Rocket Hesperis matronalis The flowers taste mildly of lettuce, making them suitable for decoration of many different salads, pates and fish dishes. Flowers can also be used for crystallising or preserved in oil or vinger for winter use.
Tulip Tulipa Tulip petals have a sweet, pealike flavour and a tender crisp texture. Try stuffing whole flowers with a shrimp or chicken salad. Add strips of petals to salads or sandwiches for that added touch of colour. Some people have had strong allergic reactions to Tulip flowers. If touching them causes a rash, numbness etc. then they should not be eaten. Tulip bulbs should never be eaten. If you have any doubts, do not eat the flower.  Care fully remove pollen and stigmas from base of flower before stuffing.
Viola Viola cornuta, Viola hybrida, Viola tricolor, Viola x williamsiana, Viola odorata Flowers have a lettuce like flavour and make a decorative addition to a green salad or to garnish a pate or dessert. They can be crystallised and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

CAUTION: Flowers to Avoid

Although there are probably many more flowers in the garden which can be eaten safely we would recommend that you confine yourself to trying the ones mentioned here and avoid anything that has not been widely recommended. Click here to view the common garden flowers which are ALL POISONOUS to a greater or lesser degree should be especially avoided.

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