20 Edible Flowers That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Updated on January 28, 2020
Linda L Paquette profile image

Linda is a 56-year-old woman who has lived in the North East all of her life. She has written a book of poetry called "Heartfelt Emotions."

Pansies are among the prettiest edible flowers.
Pansies are among the prettiest edible flowers.

Everyone loves flowers and their beauty, but there is another side of them some don't know about: Some flowers are edible. The colors and tastes are wonderful and add to any dish or drink you make. Some are sweet, some are sour, and some are just in between.

Although there are many edible flowers, I have chosen only a few, the ones that I myself have tried. Below is a list of my top 20 edible flowers.

Top 20 Edible Flowers

Here is my list of the top edible flowers:

  1. Violets
  2. Sage
  3. Roses
  4. Pansies
  5. Nasturtiums
  6. Lavender
  7. Hibiscus
  8. Zucchini Blossoms
  9. Calendula
  10. Borage Blossoms
  11. Begonia
  12. Carnations
  13. Cornflower
  14. Daylilies
  15. English daisy
  16. Gladiolus
  17. Hollyhock
  18. Honeysuckle
  19. Lilac
  20. Marigold

What Do Edible Flowers Taste Like?

Each edible flower has its own unique taste and texture; no two are truly alike. Depending on their flavor, certain flowers may work well for savory dishes, but not for desserts (and vice versa), so choose wisely.

  • Violets, which come in a variety of colors, have a sweet and flowery taste. This makes them a good choice in salads or cold drinks, and when crystallized, they can be used on top of cakes or any dessert.
  • Sage flowers have a savory, delicately sweet taste. I've found they are delicious with lemons and made into pop ice. Sage will add another layer of flavor complexity to a dish.
  • Roses come in many colors and have a very fruity taste, but they also have a strong scent. Roses pair well in just about anything, from soup to desserts. I find adding them to the top of a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting not only tastes amazing but also has a wonderful visual effect.
  • Pansies, oh those little monkey-faced beauties. They come in so many colors and taste somewhat minty. These little wonders work beautifully in salads and cold drinks.
  • Nasturtiums have a very peppery taste kind of like watercress. I love to make beef dishes with these jewels.
  • Lavender has a perfume-like flavor, which makes it wonderful when sprinkled over a delicate dessert or in a cold drink or alcoholic beverage.
  • Hibiscus flowers actually taste like a cranberry—sweet and sour all at the same time. These beauties are delish in cocktails. If you drop a hibiscus bud into a glass of bubbly beverage, the bud will bloom right before your eyes. I love them serving them with champagne when having parties.
  • Zucchini blossoms have a mild, sweet flavor and are delicious when blended with cheese and sauce.
  • Calendula tastes like saffron. Infusing this with olive oil is a great easy way to add to any dish.
  • Borage blossoms taste a lot like a cucumber. They're great in salads and also make for a special treat to add to your lemonade.
  • Begonia has a sour citrus taste, which many use in salads for extra flavor.
  • Carnation petals are very sweet but the white base is very bitter. Many use carnations in candy or desserts and some even steep them in their wine.
  • Cornflower have a spicy-sweet flavor almost like cloves, and they are mainly used as a garnish.
  • Daylilies are kind of sweet and almost taste like some sort of vegetable. Some refer to the flavor as almost melon-like. Many use them in desserts and some people even stuff them like squash blossoms.
  • English daisy is somewhat bitter and used mostly as garnish or in salads.
  • Gladiolus has a very mild taste almost like lettuce and works very well in salads or cooked.
  • Hollyhock are very bland in flavor but work well in salad or as a garnish.
  • Honeysuckle are as sweet as honey and taste like it too, making them great in desserts. (NOTE: Only the flowers are edible, so don't eat the leaves or berries as they are very poisonous.)
  • Lilac are my favorite, I think. They are a bit bitter, but that depends on the individual plant. They have a high aroma and work well in salads or as a garnish.
  • Marigold is very citrusy and works great in salads. Many use marigolds like they would saffron.

There are so many more edible flowers. The list goes on and on! Some are easy to get and some are hard to find, but either way, they are delicious.

If you grow these flowers in your garden, please be careful they are not sprayed with any pesticides. Organic gardens are best, or you can get edible flowers at your favorite grocery store, farmer's market, or from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.

There you have it, my top list for edible flowers and their tastes. I hope you will experiment with these delectable blossoms and get creative; that's what the beauty of our gardens and cooking is all about!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Linda L Paquette

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    • Linda L Paquette profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda L Paquette 

      2 years ago from New Hampshire/ Massachusettes

      I agree Thelma and you should try the other flowers I listed they are delis

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      2 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      HI! I have only tried Hibiscus flowers. I love eating them on my salad together with other vegetables. I also make tea and infuse water from Hibiscus. It's not only delicious but healthy as well.

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