Humans love flowers. We grow them, buy them, cut them to display in our homes, and even give them away as gifts, but have you ever thought about eating them?
Of course, you can’t eat every type of flower, some would make you seriously sick, but there is a wide variety that does agree with our constitution for us to consume and enjoy.
You also don’t want to be eating flowers grown in areas sprayed with chemicals, such as weed killers or pesticides.
If you’ve got a keen foraging eye and time to learn, this handy guide will help to get you started.
If you’re ever not 100% sure what the flower is, then be advised not to eat it, just in case you have stumbled upon a clever and similar but less friendly version. But if you would like to know more, here are 9 garden flowers that are also edible.
Violets are a welcome addition to any garden. They are small but cheery, with five delicate heart-shaped petals and a delightful, gentle aroma.
There are hundreds of varieties of violets, some are wild, and some grow perfectly in back yards, and although most are edible, it’s worth sowing a variety that you know for sure you can consume.
Violets are highly nutritious, including antioxidants and vitamin C. You can eat both the leaves and the flowers, but the blooms are the most versatile.
Violets have a sweeter taste and make a welcome addition to soups, salads, and deserts; for their taste and beauty.
Chamomile is a summer flower, not dissimilar in appearance to a daisy. There are happy, sunny-looking blooms that will flourish from late spring through fall.
Some chamomile varieties are perennials and others annuals, but you’ll see both reappear the following year because they’re fantastic self-seeders.
Chamomile is known to have various health benefits, but most notably, its calming and sleep-inducing properties.
Both the flower and the leaves of the chamomile plant are edible, and their most common use is to add freshly boiled water to make chamomile tea. Their flowers also accompany salads, fish dishes, cakes, and bakes with their gentle, sweet honey-like taste.
The tender petals of a rose are the most common part of the plant to eat. However, the flower hips are also edible and very high in vitamin C.
Although eating such a beautiful bloom may seem a shame, they are rather tasty, and the more fragrant the flower, the sweeter it is likely to taste.
Roses grow well in the wild and yards, and all blooms are edible. Roses have a mild taste that complements many flavors, including chocolate, pomegranate, and strawberries.
The petals are remarkably versatile in the culinary department, and you can use pop them into drinks, jams, salads, and desserts.
The sun-loving, tropical hibiscus is infamous for its vivid beauty and deep orange, red and yellow tones. Although the hibiscus is synonymous with warmer climates, it can survive cooler temperatures but needs to be looked after more carefully.
The hibiscus’s joy comes from its beauty and its many properties. No part of this vitamin-packed plant is poisonous, and interestingly, it tastes more floral than its scent.
You can use hibiscus flowers to make a refreshing tea, and they work well in desserts and jellies.
In contrast to the flowers listed so far, hostas are leafier shrubs often found in shaded woodlands and forests. They are effortless to care for and are perennials, appearing year after year.
Although you can use hosta flowers, they’re not particularly tasty. The flavorsome leaves are versatile and work well in salads and stir-fries.
However, the downside to hostas is that they are not great for your furry friends. Saponins found throughout hostas cause diarrhea and vomiting.
6. Pea Shoots
If you’re a veggie grower, you’ll know how fantastic it is to grow peas. They are abundant, sweet-tasting crops, perfect for snacking and cooking.
But did you know you can also eat the fresh white flowers that the climbing plant bears? Although importantly, don’t confuse them with the toxic sweet pea, which will make you quite sick.
Pea flowers have the same tender flavor as their vegetable and work well in salads. It’s also good to know they’re packed with vitamins and minerals.
The apparent downside to eating the blooms is that you won’t have as many peas pods to harvest, so maybe balance your pickings to have the best of both worlds.
Chickweed is very beautiful, characterized by its leafy appearance and tiny white flowers. You can find it almost anywhere in the wild, such as in woodlands and alongside roads. It will be wherever the soil is nutritionally rich.
Considered a weed in many regions, this plant is not always a welcome resident.
Chickweed is better known for its medicinal purposes, combating stomach and gastro ailments, and is an excellent substitute for lettuce.
Although not considered poisonous, eating large quantities of chickweed could upset your stomach.
Beebalm is a woodland-loving purple flower that bees adore, as you can imagine. It is also known as bergamot and horsemint, and it is native to North America and thrives in sunny spots.
It has been used medicinally for centuries, mainly to ease cold and flu symptoms.
Beebalm is a member of the mint family and has a minty taste with a hint of citrus. The flowers and leaves of the beebalm are edible, either raw or cooked, but the leaves provide the best flavor for tea.
Elderflowers are the produce of the Elder tree that you see across the globe. Often spotted in woodlands, elderflowers bloom in abundant white clusters from late May into the summer before being replaced by deep purple elderberries in the fall.
Elderflower has fantastic health benefits, including soothing cold and flu symptoms and reducing swelling.
Elderflower is widely used in food and drink and has a subtle floral taste. One of the most common uses for elderflower is to make elderflower cordial, that when mixed with cool water, is the perfect refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.