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Aug 132012

NasturtiumsDid you know many of your favorite garden flowers are edible? Edible flowers range in taste from sweet, citrusy, and perfumed to tart and bitter. While many are safe to eat, it is important to correctly identify any flowers before attempting to eat them. Also, beware of eating flowers that have been treated, sprayed, or exposed to environmental toxins. Always wash flowers well before eating. Introduce one flower at a time to identify any potential allergies. Try edible flowers as garnishes, on cakes or cupcakes, baked in cookies, preserved in oils or vinegars or tossed in salads.

Common Edible Flowers:

Anise hyssop Agstache foeniculum
African marigold Tagetes erecta
Calendula, pot marigold Calendula officinalis
Chive Allium schoenoprasum
Daylily Hemerocallis fulva
Dianthus or pinks Dianthus spp.
English daisy Bellis perennis
Hollyhock Alcea rosea
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
Lilac Syringa vulgaris
Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus
Pansy or Johnny Jump-Up Viola x wittrockiana, Viola tricolor
Rose (petals and hips) Rosa spp.
Scarlet runner bean Phaseolus coccineus
Scented geranium (leaves and flowers) Pelargonium spp.
Tuberous begonia Begonia x tuberhybrida

For more detailed information on growing, identifying and using edible flowers, try the Colorado State Extension article on Edible Flowers  and the Iowa State University Extension brochure.

 August 13, 2012