Flowers are attractive to look at, a universal present that everyone appreciates, and they smell good too. But, have you ever wondered if there are flowers you can eat too? You can eat vegetables, fruits, and herbs that grow in your garden, so why not eat some flowers too?
First off, before you head off to your yard or garden to sample the flowers you can eat that are growing there, be warned there are certain species you should not eat. These types of flowers are poisonous. They will cause to be sick if you eat them, and maybe even cause death!
Examples of poisonous flowers that aren’t edible include: Gardenia, Azalea, Morning Glory, Black Locust, Buttercup, Poison Hemlock, (it’s no wonder that Shakespeare used the “taking of hemlock” in his plays as a means of causing death), Lily of the Valley, Foxglove, Chinaberry, Iris, Daffodil, Hyacinth, Deadly Nightshade, Poinsettia, Death Cammus, Windflower, Larkspur, and Mistletoe.
Second, if you’re interested in sampling some of the flowers that are growing in your yard or garden, you must choose flowers you can eat. But before we find out which flowers you can eat, I have to give you another warning for your health’s sake: Never eat flowers that have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Only choose flowers you can eat that are free from chemical sprays and powders. If you’re not sure whether a flower has been treated or not, leave it be.
Now we can find out what flowers you can eat…really! Take Squash or Pumpkin Blossoms, for example. These flowers are not only edible, but they are rather tasty too. Especially if they are deep fried in a batter. To choose the best flowers you can eat, pick only fresh flowers that are bright in color and have completely opened up. Avoid picking brown or discolored blooms. And, avoid flowers that are infested with insects.
Other types of flowers you can eat are: Thyme, Anise Hyssop, Chamomile, Violets, Coriander, Rosemary, Mustard, Daisy, Begonia, Pansy, Chives, Dandelion (check out my AC article about making Dandelion Wine), Chrysanthemum, Basil, Bee Balm, Nasturtiums, Honeysuckle, Oregano, Pineapple Sage, Rosemary, and Redbud. I haven’t had a chance to taste Redbud flowers yet. But I want to because they are said to taste just like raw peanuts.
If you don’t have these varieties of flowers you can eat growing in your yard or gardens, check with your neighbors, friends, extended family and co-workers to see what they grow. Just remember the “No Chemicals” rule before you pick any flowers.
Once you pick the flowers you want to eat, gently remove any stems, stamens, pollen sacs, and pistils that may be on or inside them. You’re after the petal part of the flowers.
Then, rinse the flowers you can eat thoroughly with tap water. Eat them alone, or sprinkle them on top of a lettuce salad. If you’re hosting a dinner party, and you’re not sure if your guests would approve of flowers in their food, then use the petals as a garnish on the edges of their plates. Then, they can choose to eat them, or, discard them instead.