Guide to the Best Edible Flowers

Guide to the Best Edible Flowers

The most common (and safest edible flowers) are nasturtium, pansy, violet, Johnny-jump-up, calendula, chive, and sage. These flowers are easily grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Many roses are delicious, but you need to be sure they are grown organically. A good rule of thumb is: If you cannot positively identify a flower as edible, don't eat it. Also, if you have asthma, hayfever, or other allergies, do not eat flowers.

Never eat flowers from a nursery, garden center, or florist; they are likely to have chemical residues that concentrate in the flowers.

So best advice? If you aren't sure about the organic nature of your flowers, grow and harvest your own! or plant seedlings from organic seedling sources. 

Here's a look at some of the most common forms of edible flowers to add 'Pretty' to your dishes


Pansies span every color of the rainbow, so you can have fun decorating food. Plan a party months ahead and grow pansies to match your decor, best outfit, or favorite color. Their flavor is slightly minty. Try this flower baked into a cookie, as a salad additive, or as a wintergreen-tasting dessert garnish.


Nasturtiums are one of the most commonly eaten flowers. . Both the leaves and the flowers have a peppery flavor, kind of like Arugula and are best eaten uncooked. Toss petals into salads, top a sandwich, or make a spicy appetizer.


Roses not only look beautiful in a bouquet, but pair well in some delicious dishes. Roses may be tasteless, sweet, perfumed, or slightly spicy. Chop the petals and mix with sugar. Let them infuse for a week and use for baking and desserts.


Borage'sstar-shape blossoms practically fall off the plant when they are ready to eat. They have a mild cucumber flavor that is delicious in lemonade.


Tulips have a wonderful crunch, especially at the base of the petals. The flavor ranges from pea- to beanlike. Use tulip petals as a low-calorie substitute for chips with dip. Be cautious, though—the bulbs on this lovely flower are NOT edible.


'Tangerine Gem' marigoldand the other Gem hybrids are the only good-tasting marigolds, with a citrusy tarragon flavor. Use petals in deviled eggs or sprinkle on soups or pasta dishes.


Lilacs are another variable flower, with a grassy taste or a delightful perfumed flavor. Use in chicken dishes and fruit salads or as an infused water upgrade.

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