Alphabetical Plant Listing

Edible Flowers for Your Garden


Many flowers are not only beautiful. They can also be edible, adding flavor, texture, and color to salads, soups, pasta, desserts, or drinks. There is a wide range of colors, forms, and sizes of edible flowers. Many are grown as annuals and are easy to grow in garden beds, raised beds, and patio containers.

Edible flowers are an excellent way to add color, flavor, and excitement to many dishes. It is most rewarding to pick them right from your garden. 

Edible flowers you should grow in your garden

Edible flowers, Calendula, , Borago Officinalis, Cool Tankard, Talewort, Tailwort, Blue flowers

Borage
One of the easiest and most enjoyable annuals for a sunny border, Borage (Borago officinalis) is a spreading annual with abundant racemes of star-shaped, bright blue flowers from early summer to early fall. The beautiful blossoms are edible with a fresh cucumber flavor. The foliage of wrinkled, gray-green, fuzzy leaves can be harvested for use in salads and cold drinks. Borage has a diuretic effect in large quantities.

Edible flowers, Calendula, Pot Marigold, English Marigold, Poet's Marigold,

Calendula
Among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in the garden, Calendula Officinalis (Pot Marigold) is a showy hardy annual with aromatic foliage and a profusion of pretty daisy-like flowers over a long season. Prized by gardeners, it has also been used for many centuries for a range of culinary and medicinal purposes. The flowers have a slightly bitter, tangy, and peppery flavor. Sprinkle their petals on soups, pasta, rice dishes, and salads.

 Edible flowers, Chamomile, Common Chamomile, Corn Chamomile, Dog's Chamomile, German Chamomile, Ground apple, Lawn Chamomile, Pellitory of Spain, Roman Chamomile, St Anne's Flower, Scotch Chamomile, Sweet Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, Anthemis nobilis

Chamomile
Chamomile has been used for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs. The two main types of Chamomile are German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile). Chamomile flowers have an apple scent and flavor. They can be used fresh or dried to make a popular calming tea or flavor jams, candies, and desserts.

Chives, Best Chives, Garlic Chives, Planting Chives, Growing Chives, Harvesting Chives, Allium schoenoprasum, Allium tuberosum

Chives
Chives (Allium) are a popular culinary herb in the home garden. Grown for the mild onion flavor of their leaves and pretty flowers, chives attract bees and other pollinators to the garden while helping deter damaging insects such as Japanese beetles. Used in cooking for over 5000 years, chives are also cultivated for their ornamental value in flower gardens and traditionally have been used for their medicinal properties. All parts of the plants are edible and primarily eaten in salads. Float or sprinkle flowers on soups, salads, and vegetables.

Edible Flowers, Hemerocallis, daylilies, Daylily, Day Lily

Daylilies
Every part of the daylily (Hemerocallis) is edible. The flavor is a combination of asparagus, peas, and zucchini. The young shoots can be used as a substitute for asparagus. The tubers may be boiled like potatoes. The flowers make pretty salad toppers. They can also be chopped and sauté or stir-fried. Careful: daylilies should not be confused with tiger lilies or commercial lily varieties, some of which can be toxic. Make sure you have correctly identified the plant before eating it.

Edible Flowers, Dianthus, Carnations, Sweet Williams, Cheddar Pink, Cliff Pink, Clove Pink, Mountain Pink, Sweet Pink

Dianthus
Most Dianthus flowers (carnations, pinks, and sweet william) are edible and have a pleasant spicy, light clove-like or nutmeg taste. They are often crystallized with sugar and used for decorating cakes. They add lovely visual appeal as a garnish to soups, salads, and summer drinks. Carnation petals have been a secret ingredient used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.

 Edible Flowers, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Chinese Hibiscus, China Rose, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Shoeblack Plant

Hibiscus
Prized for its beautiful flowers, Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is used medicinally for all sorts of ailments in China. Both flowers and leaves are consumed as an exotic tea. The flowers are edible and have a mild cranberry-citrus flavor. They are used in salads throughout the Pacific Islands.

 Edible Flowers, Common Lilac, English Lilac, French Lilac, Early Flowering Lilac, Dwarf Korean Lilac

Lilac
Hardy and vigorous, Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are terrific shrubs that reward us with an abundance of exquisitely scented flowers in mid-spring. The edible blossoms have a delicate, slightly bitter, lemony flavor with floral, pungent overtones. However, flavors vary depending on the cultivar, from no taste to a true floral lilac flavor. They make a beautiful garnish for salads and desserts.

Edible Flowers, Tilia, Linden, Lime, Basswood, American Linden,  American Lime, American lime, European Linden,   European Lime,  European, Caucasian Linden,  Caucasian Lime, Crimean lime

Linden
Linden (Tilia) are dense, deciduous trees adorned with heart-shaped leaves and clusters of creamy-white flowers in spring or summer. Linden flowers have a sweet, honey-like flavor and are commonly made into tea. They contain antioxidants, and linden tea is often used for cold, cough, and soar throats—hives placed around some Tilia species yield a prized fragrant honey. The leaves are also edible. They taste like lettuce and are an excellent substitute for salads or sandwiches.

 Edible Flowers, Nasturtium, Tropaeolum, Nasturtiums, Common Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Garden Nasturtium, Orange Flowers, Red Flowers, Yellow Flowers, Annuals, Annual plant, deer resistant flowers

Nasturtium
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is a popular trailing to upright annual plant that rewards you with months of summer blooms. Nasturtiums rank among the most common edible flowers. The delicate blossoms have a sweet, peppery taste similar to watercress. Leaves and unripe seed pods add a citrusy and peppery flavor to salads. Flower buds contain mustard oil and may be used for seasonings. The flowers add eye-catching beauty to the plate and can be used to garnish salads, platters, and savory dishes.

Edible Flowers, Tagetes Tenuifolia,Marigold, Marigolds, American Saffron, Signet Marigold, Slender leaf Marigold, Striped Mexican Marigold, Lemon Gem, Orange Gem, Tagetes Signata, Annual, Annuals,

Signet Marigold
Signet Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia) is a showy, single-flowered marigold with small but profuse, richly colored blossoms that generously cover the finely divided lacy foliage. You will love running your fingers through the flowers and foliage to release their lemony fragrance as you walk by. The flowers are edible and have a citrus flavor. Mix the petals in salads or teas, and enjoy! This marigold can also be used as a substitute for saffron. It may be harmful in large amounts.

Edible Flowers, Phlox paniculata, Border Phlox, Fall Phlox, Garden Phlox, Perennial Phlox, Summer Phlox

Perennial Phlox
With its showy, sweetly fragrant flowers and long blooming season, Perennial Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a garden classic considered by many as the backbone of summer borders. The flowers have a slightly spicy and sweet taste. They are great in fruit salads and look beautiful when candied and added as a decoration to cakes or desserts. Not to be confused with the annual phlox that is not edible.

Edible Flowers, Roses, Red Roses, Pink Roses, Red Rose, White Roses, Rose Bushes, Heirloom Roses, Pink Rose

Roses
Unsurpassed in beauty and fragrance, Roses are a key element of the summer garden. All roses are edible, but those with the sweetest fragrance are likely to have the most flavor. And the flavor is more pronounced in the darker varieties. Rose petals have a very aromatic, floral flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples, with overtones ranging from cinnamon to mint. They can be eaten raw and mixed into fruit or green salads. Rose petals can also be used in rose-infused beverages, jams, and jellies or added to sugar or butter.

Edible flowers, Sunflower, Helianthus annuus, Common Sunflower, Comb Flower, Golden Flower of Peru, St Bartholomew's Star

Sunflower
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are fast-growing annuals boasting huge, brilliant flowers with yellow petals surrounding a dark chocolate central disk. These showstoppers are edible from flower to leaf to root if grown organically. The petals have a bittersweet, nutty flavor and can be eaten raw. The stalks taste like celery, and the young leaves are excellent when baked, sautéed, or added to salads. Unopened buds can be steamed like artichokes. Sunflower roots can be roasted, fried, steamed, or eaten raw in salads. Seeds are used widely in oils, snacks, and muesli.

Edible flowers,  Viola, Violet, Pansy, Pansies, Sweet Violet, Viola odorata, Viola sororia

Violet and Pansy
Invaluable for their winter, spring, or summer blooms, Violets and Pansies (Viola) are also the most popular edible flowers, adding beauty and flavor to dishes and drinks. They have a sweet, honey-vegetal taste. They can be eaten fresh in salads and candied in desserts. They also make an excellent garnish for any dish and float beautifully on cocktails. Unlike many edible flowers, the entire flower can be eaten, not just the petals. The heart-shaped leaves are also edible and tasty when cooked like spinach.

Important considerations before eating any flower

  • Not all flowers are edible. Some could make you very sick. Eat a flower if you are sure it is edible. Do not use non-edible flowers as a garnish to avoid confusion about what should be eaten on our plates.
  • Before eating a flower, check with a medical or plant professional.
  • Only edible flowers grown organically can be eaten. Never eat flowers grown with pesticides or chemicals. Choose plants labeled as 'certified organically grown' or, better yet, grow your own flowers from seed.
  • Plants from garden centers and nurseries may have been treated with fertilizers and pesticides.
  • For most edible flowers, it is best to eat the petals. Remove pistils, sepals, and stamens before eating. Violets and nasturtium can be entirely eaten.
  • Pick edible flowers at their peak freshness before they are fully open or starting to wilt. Harvest them the day they will be used.
  • Do not pick flowers from the side of the road. They may have been treated with chemicals or polluted by car emissions.
  • Use new edible flowers sparingly at first to avoid any digestive issues. Introduce new flowers into your diet in small quantities until you see how your body responds. Some people may have sensitivity or reactions to plants deemed safe to eat.
  • Pair flowers with food for complementary flavors.
  • When serving edible flowers fresh, add them to your dish just before serving.

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


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