Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Edible Flowers - The Bush Tucker in Your Garden

Squash and pumpkin blossoms are edible. Prepare the blossoms by washing and trimming the stems and remove the stamens. One cooking method is to dip in a tempura batter and quickly deep fry. Other uses include as a garnish and as a delightful finishing touch to clear soups.

Other edible flowers, include anise hyssop, basil flowers, bee balm, borage, chamomile, chive blossoms, chrysanthemum, clary, daisy, dandelion, day lilies, fuchsia, scented flower of judga, marigold, mustard flower, nasturtiums, oregano, pansy, pineapple sage, roquette, rose, rosemary flower, savory flower, violas, and violet according to, "Guide to Cooking With Edible Flowers", Paradise Farms, P O Box 436, Summerland, CA 93067.

Do not eat flowers that were purchased from a florist or any other source that you do no know whether or not they were sprayed with pesticides. Also do not eat home grown flowers that were treated with chemicals. If you don't know if the plant has been treated with chemicals or not, do not eat.

The following is a list of flowers that can be safely eaten. In most cases, the petals are eaten. Stems, pistils, and stamens (the male and female parts in the center of the blossom) should be removed for best flavor.

Pansies, Roses (Wild roses are the best; remove the lower part of the petal to reduce bitterness), Nasturtium Calendula, Borage (a good blue color), Dianthus/Pinks Open pollinated Broccoli Radish (white, pink, lavender) Squash Purple 
Podded Pea Scarlet Runner Beans Hyacinth Bean 
Alliums - leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives Coriander/Cilantro Thyme Rosemary 
Sage Lavender Apple Plum Lilac, 
Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat) 
Violas Strawberry Hollyhock Gladiolus Tulip, Tuberous Begonia, Honeysuckle, Daylily

Source: Edible Flowers, Cathy Barash

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