Edible Flowers

by Juanita Schulze

Did you know there are actually edible flowers? That is right. There are flowers you can eat. They will not harm you and some even taste okay. There are also highly poisonous flowers that you want to keep your children and pets from. We will list the poisonous flowers at the bottom of the page.

Edible Flowers (You May Eat These)

Sometimes pretty flowers are used to top a cake, add to a salad, or as a garnish but can they be eaten?

It is important to eat flowers that you know for a fact are non-poisonous. You should only eat the ones you have grown so you know they are chemical free. Flowers you buy from a florist may have been sprayed with poisonous chemicals. Those grown in public places have been sprayed.

Keep in mind that most of the flowers do not taste all that great but they will look pretty on a wedding cake or birthday cupcakes.

Eat the petals only. Do not eat the stamen or pistil.

Place flowers on a moist paper towel after picking and refrigerate them in an airtight container. They could possibly last for up to ten days. If they look a little limp, place your flowers in ice water until they perk up.

Here is the list of flowers that are okay to eat and/or use on cakes or in dishes:

  • Allium which includes the flowers from chives, garlic, and leeks.
  • Angelica
  • Anise Hyssop
  • Applemint
  • Arugula
  • Asian Greens
  • Bachelors Button
  • Basil
  • Bee Balm
  • Borage
  • Cactus
  • Calendula
  • Catmint
  • Centaurea - Black Button
  • Chamomile
  • Chantilly
  • Chervil
  • Chicory
  • Chinese Leeks
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Dahlia
  • Dandelion
  • Dianthus
  • Dill
  • Doublemint
  • English Daisy (not regular daisies--bitter)
  • Fennel - Bronze - Bronze and Green
  • Field Peas
  • Fuchsia
  • Garlic Chives
  • Gladiolus
  • Grapefruit Blossoms
  • Hibiscus
  • Hollyhock
  • Hyacinth
  • Jasmine
  • Johnny Jump Up
  • Kumquat Blossoms
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Blossoms
  • Lemon Mint
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Lilac
  • Lime Blossoms
  • Mammoth Red Clover Cover Crop
  • Marigold - Some varieties are edible: pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis), Mexican mint marigolds (Tagetes Lucida), (Tagetes signata) and lemon marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia). These marigolds can be toxic to dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs so do not allow them to eat these marigolds. See the Do Not Eat list below for some marigolds you should not consume.
  • Marjoram
  • Mexican Mint Marigold
  • Mint
  • Nasturtium   
  • Okra
  • Orange Blossoms
  • Oregano
  • Pansy
  • Peppermint
  • Pumpkin Blossoms
  • Panorama Mix Monarda
  • Queen Anne's Lace
  • Radish Blooms
  • Roses (Remove the bitter base and the rest of the petals taste okay.)
  • Rosemary
  • Sage - Common
  • Salsify
  • Salvia
  • Scarlet Runner Bean
  • Scorzonera
  • Shiso - Asia IP  - Britton
  • Snapdragon
  • Spilanthes
  • Squash Blossoms
  • Stinging Nettles
  • Stock
  • Strawberry
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Thyme
  • Viola
  • Violets
  • Vroma Bean
  • Wild Bergamot

This list of edible flowers is not all-inclusive.

Poisonous Flowers (Do Not Eat!)

Do not eat these and do not use to decorate or garnish any food items. Keep your children and your pets away from these:

  • Amaryllis
  • Apple Blossoms
  • Apricot Blossoms
  • Asclepias
  • Asparagus
  • Azaleas
  • Baby's Breath
  • Belladonna
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Black Cherry Blossoms
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Bloodflower
  • Bluebells
  • Boxwood
  • Buckeye
  • Buttercup
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Caladium
  • Calla Lily
  • Calotropis
  • Carnation
  • Castor Bean Blossoms
  • Century Plant
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • China Berry
  • Chinese Lantern
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clematis
  • Columbine
  • Crown Vetch
  • Daffodils
  • Delphinium
  • Dogbane
  • Elderberry
  • English Laurel
  • Eucalyptus
  • Euphorbia
  • Fig Blossoms
  • Flowering Tobacco
  • Four O'Clock
  • Foxglove
  • Frangipani
  • Heather
  • Holly
  • Horse Nettle
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Juniper
  • Laceflower
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Loquat
  • Lupine
  • Marigold - Some varieties are toxic including French marigold (tagetes patula) and African (or Mexican) marigold (tagetes erecta)
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning Glory
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Peach Blossoms
  • Pineapple Blossoms
  • Poinsettias
  • Pokeweed
  • Poppies
  • Potato Blossoms
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb
  • Rubber Plant
  • Rue
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Sweetpea
  • Tomato Blossoms
  • Tulip
  • Water Hemlock
  • Wild Onion
  • Wisteria
  • Wormwood

This list of inedible flowers is not all-inclusive. There are many other poisonous flowers.

I would not have any of the poisonous flowers in my yard if I had small children or pets. Fencing them off does not always work. Children and animals may look at a fence like a challenge and then get into them.

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