42 Flowers You Can Eat
Chamomile to Violets
askabir/CC BY 2.0
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.
Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.
Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.
Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.
16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.
Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.
Read more about dandelions here: Backyard Forage for Dandelions.
Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.
20. English daisy
These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!
Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.
Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.
Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.
Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.
28. Johnny Jump-Up
Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.
30. Lemon berbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.
The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.
40. Squash and pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.
From True Food: Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier You (National Geographic, 2009) by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer and Wendy Gordon.