Why not try growing a few edible flowers?
Great for garnishing cakes and desserts, tossing in salads or in many other creative ways in the kitchen. For use in drinks, try freezing in ice cube trays. Before using in your latest culinary creation, remove stamens and styles and therefore pollen from all flowers except Violas and Pansies. For most flowers, cut the petals away from the base of the flower, which is often bitter.
Remember that some flowers are poisonous. Ensure that you have positively identified each variety before using. Avoid using any chemicals when growing your edible flower plants. Finally, shake and wash all flowers in cold water prior to use.
Here are our edible flower plants, along with their characteristics.
Annual Edible Flowers
- Arugula – white, spicy. Great use of this leafy green after foliage is done.
- Basil – whole flower edible, colour ranges from white to purple.
- Begonia – both Tuberous and Fibrous – various colours, sharp citrus flavour.
- Calendula – yellow or orange, flavour ranges from peppery to bitter.
- Dill – yellow, stronger dill flavour than leaves. Use before seeds develop.
- Fuchsia – various colours, slightly acidic flavour. Exotic looking!
- Marigold – yellows and oranges, pungent scent. Cut petals into salads for colour.
- Mint – white, minty flavoured. Use with chocolate desserts.
- Nasturtium – shades of red, orange or yellow, sweet, peppery flavour. Use whole.
- Pansy – various colours, faint wintergreen flavour. Use whole.
- Squash – yellow, tear into salads or stuff whole and lightly fry.
- Sunflower – yellow, steam unopened buds or pull petals for salads.
Perennial Edible Flowers
- Agastache (Hyssop) – lilac, mild licorice flavour. Remove individual flowers from stem.
- Chives – purple with mild onion flavour. Cut into salads.
- Day Lily – various colours, sweet flavour resembles mild melon or cucumber. Buds can be stuffed and cooked like Squash flowers.
- Dianthus – pink or red, mild clove flavour. Great for desserts.
- Hollyhock – various colours, no flavour. Large petals.
- Lavender – shades of mauve / purple, sweet intensely floral flavour. Great for baking.
- Phlox, tall – shades of pink to white, peppery flavour.
- Rose – various colours, intense perfume with subtle fruity flavour. Remove bitter white base of each petal.
- Rosemary – blue, similar in flavour to foliage.
- Sage – deep blue, mild sage flavour.
- Viola (Johnny Jump Up) – various colours, range of sweet, perfumed flavours. Try freezing in icecubes. Use whole.