Flowers – Edible


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.)


Calendula, growing in flower bed under the big cherry tree in the back patch.  Late March 2019.  Photo by G.

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

Dahlia – Flavours range from water chestnut and spicyapple 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.

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.

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 too.


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.