I love adding colour to our plates with edible flowers. In winter this is especially satisfying; finding colour in the darkest winter days.
I love adding colour to our salad bowls with edible flowers. There are so many out there that can be used! It’s important to know which ones are edible though as not all flowers are. Below is a list of my favourite edible flowers, and what parts of the flower are edible.
My first priority however is cramming the garden with as many flowers as I can for the bees. If there is enough to share, or the bees have finished with the flowers, that’s when I’ll grab them.
Roses are a flower that I don’t think get used as much as they could! All rose flower petals are edible, though their flavour can change depending on the variety. The petals are gorgeous in salads and they can come in so many different colours.
Roses will flower late autumn/early winter too which adds colour when the days are darker.
These bright little flowers are stunning! They’re a cool season flower so again will brighten your plate in colder winter days. The entire flower head can be eaten for this flower. No need to pick off individual petals.
Like roses, dahlias come in a host of different colours and sizes which adds great variation to your plate. Dahlia petals are edible.
The bees love dahlias too so I only harvest the petals once they start dropping off.
When herbs set to seed they can add beauty and mass flavour to a dish! Coriander has little white flowers, rosemary has purple, oregano has pink. Below is a Thai basil flower.
Chives make beautiful purple pom pom flowers that add a delicate onion flavour.
6. Edible Weed Flowers – Dandelion and chickweed
Certain weeds are edible and we are not utilising them enough! Dandelion (yellow flower pictured below) is edible. The entire plant is edible and similar to rocket.
The green foliage with the little white flowers pictured below is chickweed. This ‘weed’ is entirely edible too and nutrient packed.
Also pictured in the handful are nasturtiums and borage
7. Onion Weed
Onion weed pictured below is delicious, onion flavoured weed. The entire plant is edible. It should not be confused with snowdrops, a non edible bulb. Onion weed can easily be identified by a strong onion smell when rubbed between your fingers.
A delicious mustardy flower, this adds colour and spice to a dish. The leaves are edible too. The larger they are the spicier they get.
A bees best friend, I always have borage in the garden! The little blue petals are edible and have a faint cucumber flavour.
Sticking with the blue theme, blue cornflowers is another flower with edible petals. The petals are a striking colour.
This is a huge family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, radish, kale, mustard. When they set seed their flowers are pretty and delicious. If you wait for the seed pods to appear the flavour gets even better. Long seed pods appear. When they’re green and fresh they are filled with crunchy mustardy seeds.
All lavender are edible but some varieties are more palatable than others. The very perfumed varieties are more suited for essential oils and perfumes while the milder varieties are best used in cooking.
There are many more that I have not listed, such as squash or pumpkin flowers, onion, leek and carrot flowers.
It’s easy to think that if the vegetable is edible then the flower of the plant is too. However that is not always the case.
Don’t eat the flowers in the nightshade family. This includes tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, chilli and capsicum. Many other flowers are very toxic when eaten so do your research before trying other flowers.
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