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25 Flowers You Can Eat

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I'm a dental hygienist, pyrography artist, avid gardener, writer, vegetarian, world traveler, and many other things!

These flowers are surprisingly delicious.

These flowers are surprisingly delicious.

Leaves of plants are often delicious, but many people aren't aware that sometimes flowers can be eaten, too. As a kid I discovered the tangy, tart flowers of wood sorrel through my botanist mother, and I still seek them out today. There is a purity found in flowers that isn't always found in the leaves.

Flowers have been eaten since ancient times. Rose petals and lotus blooms are often used in Indian cuisine; the Chinese eat daylilies; Italians use squash blossoms; and the ancient Romans ate violets.

Apart from being beautiful and interesting conversation starters, it's always good to know what's edible in nature in case you find yourself lost in the woods or in a survival situation. There have been countless stories about people surviving precisely because they had a knowledge of what was around them, and what they could eat.

Edible Flowers

#1-13 

1. Arugula

14. Lavender

2. Basil

15. Lemon Verbena

3. Borage

16. Lilac

4. Calendula

17. Mint

5. Carnation

18. Nasturtium

6. Chamomile

19. Pansy

7. Chrysanthemum

20. Petunia

8. Coriander

21. Rose

9. Red Clover

22. Snapdragon

10. Dandelion

23. Squash

11. Fennel

24. Sunflower

12. Hibiscus

25. Violet

13. Jasmine

Edible flowers add whimsy to dishes

Edible flowers add whimsy to dishes

Be Careful

  • There are a lot of look-alike plants in nature, and often they are poisonous. Before eating wild plants or flowers, consult a botanist or reference book, or be certain that what you're about to eat is what you think it is. Check this list of poisonous plants to help ensure that you're not grabbing something poisonous, but the best bet is to grow the flowers from seed yourself.
  • Never eat flowers grown commercially or for floral arrangements, as they are often sprayed with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
  • Only eat the flower's petals; do no eat the stamen or pistils unless you know for sure it's okay to do so.
  • After picking flowers, put them in a glass of ice water or on a wet paper towel in the fridge. Use them as soon as possible.

Video: Edible Flowers Demo

1. Arugula

Common names: Arugula, rocket, garden rocket, roquette, rucola

Scientific name: Eruca sativa

Colors: White; yellow; purple

Flavor: Peppery, nutty, spicy

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, flavonoids

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2. Basil

Common names: Sweet basil, basil, kitchen basil

Scientific name: Ocimum basilicum

Colors: White; purple

Flavor: Strong, sweet, lemon, mint

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, flavonoids

3. Borage

Common names: Borage, starflower, bee bread, burrage

Scientific name: Borago officinalis

Colors: Blue; pink; white

Flavor: Mild, cucumber-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, B-complex, flavonoids

4. Calendula

4. Calendula

4. Calendula

Common names: Calendula, pot marigold, garden marigold, common marigold

Scientific name: Calendula officinalis

Colors: Yellow; orange

Flavor: Spicy, peppery, and tangy

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids

5. Carnation

5. Carnation

5. Carnation

Common names: Carnation

Scientific name: Dianthus

Colors: Pink; red; white; yellow; purple; green

Flavor: Sweet and spicy, clove-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, vitamin A

6. Chamomile

6. Chamomile

6. Chamomile

Common names: Chamomile, camomile, pineapple weed, scented mayweed

Scientific name: Matricaria chamomilla

Colors: White

Flavor: Sweet, slight apple taste

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, potassium, calcium, flavonoids

7. Chrysanthemum

7. Chrysanthemum

7. Chrysanthemum

Common names: Chrysanthemum, mum, crysanth

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum

Colors: Yellow; white; red; pink; orange

Flavor: Peppery, from light to pungent

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium

8. Coriander

8. Coriander

8. Coriander

Common names: Coriander, cilantro, dhania

Scientific name: Coriandrum sativum

Colors: White; light pink

Flavor: Similar to the herb; green flavor people either love or hate

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, potassium

9. Red Clover

9. Red Clover

9. Red Clover

Common names: Red clover

Scientific name: Trifolium pratense

Colors: Red (purple/pink)

Flavor: Sweet, slightly anise-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, B-complex, phosphorus, potassium, calcium

10. Dandelion

10. Dandelion

10. Dandelion

Common names: Dandelion, common dandelion

Scientific name: Taraxacum officinale

Colors: Yellow

Flavor: Sweet, honey-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, potassium, B-complex, iron, flavonoids

VIDEO: Sweet Flower Pancakes

11. Fennel

Common names: Fennel

Scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare

Colors: Yellow

Flavor: Sweet, anise-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, calcium, iron, carotenoids

12. Hibiscus

12. Hibiscus

12. Hibiscus

Common names: Hibiscus

Scientific name: Hibiscus

Colors: Red; pink; white; yellow; orange

Flavor: Tart, cranberry-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, potassium, flavonoids

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried Hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 cups cold water

Method:

  • Discard stems
  • Soak flower petals in cold water for 1-2 days, until the color of the petals has faded
  • Strain through a fine sieve
  • Add sugar and stir
  • Serve warm or cold, straight or with lemon wedges or orange zest
  • Keeps in the fridge for 5 days

13. Jasmine

Common names: Jasmine

Scientific name: Jasminum officinale

Colors: White; yellow

Flavor: Sweet, delicate, highly aromatic

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, flavonoids

14. Lavender

14. Lavender

14. Lavender

Common names: Lavender

Scientific name: Lavandula

Colors: Purple

Flavor: Sweet and floral

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, flavonoids

15. Lemon Verbena

15. Lemon Verbena

15. Lemon Verbena

Common names: Lemon verbena, lemon beebrush

Scientific name: Aloysia citrodora

Colors: White; pink

Flavor: Lemony

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, flavonoids

VIDEO: Edible Flowers

16. Lilac

Common names: Lilac

Scientific name: Syringa

Colors: Purple; white; pink

Flavor: Lemony, floral

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, iron, calcium

17. Mint

Common names: Mint

Scientific name: Mentha

Colors: White; pink; purple

Flavor: Minty, cooling, fresh

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, flavonoids

18. Nasturtium

18. Nasturtium

18. Nasturtium

Common names: Nasturtium

Scientific name: Tropaeolum

Colors: Red; yellow; orange; white; pink

Flavor: Sweet, spicy, peppery

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, iron, flavonoids

19. Pansy

Common names: Pansy

Scientific name: Viola × wittrockiana

Colors: Yellow; purple; white; pink; red; orange; blue

Flavor: Mildly sweet, tart

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, iron, carotenoids, flavonoids

20. Petunia

Common names: Petunia

Scientific name: Petunia

Colors: Pink; purple; white; red

Flavor: Sweet and spicy

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium

VIDEO: How To Make Candied Edible Flowers

21. Rose

Common names: Rose, wild rose

Scientific name: Rosa

Colors: Pink; white; red; yellow; orange

Flavor: From sweet, sour, to spicy

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, B-complex, calcium

22. Snapdragon

22. Snapdragon

22. Snapdragon

Common names: Snapdragon, dragon flower

Scientific name: Antirrhinum

Colors: White; yellow; pink; red; orange; purple

Flavor: Mild or slightly bitter

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, iron, potassium, phosphorus

23. Squash

Common names: Squash, pumpkin, gourd

Scientific name: Cucurbita

Colors: Yellow; orange

Flavor: Sweet, nectar-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A, vitamin C, B-complex, potassium, carotenoids

24. Sunflower

24. Sunflower

24. Sunflower

Common names: Sunflower

Scientific name: Helianthus annuus

Colors: Yellow; orange

Flavor: Green and leafy; better after being lightly steamed

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin E, vitamin C, B-complex, phosphorus

25. Violet

Common names: Violet, viola

Scientific name: Viola

Colors: Purple; blue; pink

Flavor: Sweet, nectar-like

Nutritional benefits: Vitamin C, iron, flavonoids

Recipes

© 2012 Kate P

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