Growing Guide: Edible Flowers
- Edible flowers include any flower that isn’t poisonous or that may cause a negative reaction. People who have have hay fever, asthma, or severe pollen allergies are advised not to consume flowers.
- Warning: Just because a flower is edible doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes good.
- Plant identification is key because some flowers have look-alikes that are not edible.
- Typically, flowers grown by a florist or nursery have been sprayed with chemicals. Only eat flowers that have been grown organically to avoid pesticide residue.
- Avoid flowers that are not fully open or are starting to wilt.
Harvesting Edible Flowers
- Collect flowers for eating in the cooler parts of the day — preferably early morning after the dew has evaporated — or late afternoon.
- Most blossoms should be harvested at or near opening. Blossoms taste and look their best right after they have opened.
- Store clean blossoms in a hard container in the refrigerator.
- For most flowers (except violas and pansies) the sepals (parts below the petals) are not tasty and should be removed before eating.
- After harvesting place flowers in a shaded basket without crushing.
Enjoying Edible Flowers
- Before using, gently wash the flowers with cool water. Cool water can also freshen flowers that may have started to wilt during harvesting.
- Some blossoms require you to remove the reproductive organs such as the stamens and styles before eating.
- Some flowers have only edible petals (Ex. roses, calendulas, tulips, chrysanthemums, yucca, and lavender).
- Gently wrapping flowers in moist paper towels and refrigerating in an airtight container can prolong flower usage.
- Flowers can be added to many dishes as garnish, teas, and salads to add flavor and bright brilliant colors!