Flowers – Edible



Borage flower with a bee.

Borage – leaves & flowers are edible.  Tiny five-petalled flowers taste sweet and are a delight used as a garnish for salads and desserts.

Calendula – edible marigold.  Flower petals make a colour addition or garnish to salads.


Chive flowers – purple pom-poms.

Coriander flowers: Coriander goes into flower with delicate umbrels bearing tiny white flowers.  Good used in salads.  (The seeds are also edible, as are of course the leaves.)

Cornflower – A sweet-to-spicy clove-like flavour.

Dahlia – Flavours range from water chestnut and spicy apple to carrot.

Hibiscus – Great addition to fruit salads or to make a citrus-flavoured tea. Hibiscus flowers can be infused to make a mildly citrus flavoured tea.  The petals can be cut and added to fruit salads.

HonestyAka ‘moonwort’ or ‘moneywort.’  Belongs to the mustard family.  Honesty leaves and flowers both have a cabbage-like taste. The seeds taste like mustard.  Leaves can be collected and used as a green vegetable or in salads before the flowers appear. Honesty flowers can be added to salads.  The seeds can be used to make a mustard substitute which is strengthened by crushing and mixing with cold water.


Honesty in flower in Woods.  13 April 2020.

Honeysuckle – Enjoy the nectar fresh, or use petals make syrup, pudding, or a tea.

Lilac – Enjoy mixed with cream cheese or yogurt as a dip or spread.

Magnolia – The young flowers can be pickled or used fresh in salads.

Nasturtium – Tasting peppery, like watercress, these make a lovely salad addition. While working on our plot sometimes we make a wrap of a flower inside a nasturtium leaf, which makes a quick peppery treat.


Nasturtium flower (8 May 2020)

Pansy – Mild and fresh-tasting, they’re great in a green salad or as a garnish.

Rose petals – Lovely in drinks, fruit dishes, jams and jellies thanks to its delicate
fragrance. Especially true of damask rose.

Scented Geraniums– The flavours range from citrussy to a hint of nutmeg.

Cape Jasmine – Extremely fragrant, they’re ideal for pickling, preserving, and baking.

Garlic Chive flowers – white star-shaped blossoms

Wood violet


Wood violet in flower.  (Sat 23 March 2019 on the allotment).  Photo by G.


10 Unusual Edible Flowers 

  1. Forget-me-not– Delicious as a trail snack on its own or as a garnish.   Flowers can be sprinkled over desserts to add a delicate scented flavour
  2. Sunflower– The mild nutty taste makes the petals good in salads or stir fries.
  3. Hollyhock – Remove the centre stamen (with pollen) before eating.   Petals can be crystallised or use them to make a delicately flavoured syrup to use with puddings.
  4. Camellia – Used fresh as garnishes or dried and then used in Asian cuisine.
  5. Fuchsia – Enhance the flavour by removing all green and brown bits and the stamen.
  6. Freesia – Great infused in a tisane with lemon juice and zest.
  7. Gladiolus – Mild in taste (similar to lettuce), they’re good in sweet or savoury dishes.  The lettuce flavoured flowers can be used with sweet or savoury spreads; individual petals can be included in salads.
  8. Peony – The petals taste lovely fresh in salads, or lightly cooked and sweetened. Peony petals can be added to salads, or cooked slightly and sweetened for a treat. Peony water was once considered a delicacy and blooms can be floated in punches
  9. Alpine pinks (aka Dianthus) – Tasting of clove, they’re good in flavoured sugars, oils and vinegars.  Use the clove-like tasting petals for adding to cakes, either for flavour or decorating.  Also suitable to garnish soups, salads and sauces.


Poisonous flowers you should NEVER eat

  1. Daffodil – Eating any part of a daffodil will cause distress due to the toxin, lycorine.
  2. Foxglove – Contains naturally-occurring poisons (digitalis) that affect the heart.
  3. Oleander – The whole plant is highly-toxic – one of the most toxic garden plants.
  4. Clematis – Mild but toxic: contact with clematis (mouth or skin) can cause irritation.
  5. Bluebell – All parts of the bluebell contains toxic glycosides.
  6. Rhododendron – Its toxins can impact heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  7. Larkspur – Its toxic alkaloids are fast-acting and potentially life-threatening.
  8. Hydrangea – The small amount of cyanide in Hydrangeas make them dangerous.
  9. Lily-of-the-Valley – Pretty, but they contain convallatoxin, which should not be ingested.



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