Delicious edible flowers!

For a touch of exoticism in your daily meals, why not try adding some flowers to brighten up the dish, or petals to add some interesting flavours?

As long as the flowers are free of pesticides/chemicals, here are a handful of common flowers which can be used in food or cocktails:

  • Borage - tiny blue flowers with slight cucumber flavour, eaten raw in salads.
  • Chrysanthemum - for herbal tea or salads, Asian variety 'Shungiku' also used for stir fries.
  • Fuscias - used for salads and as a garnish with fish, chicken or grilled vegetables.(This turns out to be incorrect - please do not use the petals of fuschia for eating - please see the attached comment for more details.)
  • Lavender - can be used to flavour jelly, icecream, baked goods and grilled meat.
  • Hibiscus - mild flavour, good for decorating and adding flavour to salads.
  • Pot Marigolds - petals can be used for salad, citrus flavoured.
  • Pansies - with sweet, tart flavour, can be candied or used straight for salads
  • Roses - petals with slight fruity flavour, can be used for rosewater or in food preparation. Rose hips(below petals) are sour and can be used in infusions.

Be careful though..some are not to be eaten!

Some popular cut flowers are poisonous to eat and these include Calla Lilies, Delphinium, Hyacinth, Iris, Narcissus (Daffodils and Jonquils), Poppy and Tulips.

Edible flower storage

Long-stem edible flowers should be placed in water and stored in a cool place, whilst short-stem flowers can be layered between damp towels or stored loosely in a plastic bag and refrigerated.

Some inspiring flower recipes can be found here on the BBC website.

And for a more comprehensive listing of flower flavours.

First article by our new writer Tracy, posted by Bob

2 responses to Delicious edible flowers!

#1 Cathy Wilkinson Barash on Jun 05 2007 at 4:36 PM

I was excited to read of the enthusiasm for edible flowers in the UK.One correction....fuchsia flowers are not edible. In fact, when I was doing research for my book Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate, I found that although a lot of folks were recommending fuchsia flowers, in fact it is the berry that is edible. The flowers are high in oxalic acid and can close your throat.Other delicious and zesty flowers include chives and nasturtiums, floraly pineapple guava, and lemon.For a complete list of edible flowers (common and botanic name and the flavor), email me at bloominggourmet@mchsi.comCathy Wilkinson BarashDes Moines, Iowa, USA

#2 Victoria on May 12 2012 at 12:27 PM

SEE oxalic acid is in many things-including wild sorrels, it is what gives that lemony/apple skinny taste, and they are perfectly fine to eat in small amounts 2-3 times a week-I do it all the time. Now oxalic acid is a nerve toxin, however, you would need to eat a serious amount of them to induce any effect-this includes fuschia flowers-I'm still alive, and also the flowers acidic taste is very mild-milder than that of sorrels, so I think that if debating the subject fuschia flowers are safer than sorrel!Some food for thought-Everyday food items people buy in shops can be toxic-the amount of chemicals pumped into animal meat these days is awful, and the preservatives, e numbers, and other disgusting additives in pre packed and other foods don't stop folks eating them and damaging their health, and here we are worried about a tiny bit of oxalic acid in a fuschia flower, which to be honest will do no harm in small amounts! Its vague posts like this that scare folk away from trying wild foods, thinking ONE petal might 'close their throat' NO! Not when eaten as stated!However not all plants are edible but please don't let that put you off, find a good book and or guide!