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The Ultimate Guide to Edible Flowers

or Edible Aromatherapy!

Eat Your Aromatherapy
Edible Flowers

There has been quite an uptick in interest of growing and foraging for food in recent years. The wealth of edible foliage around us every day is a treasure in and of itself. Yet, the task of identifying all of it can be overwhelming. For example, our topic for today - edible flowers, has more than enough to learn in a season, much less a class (and much, much less a blog). There are a few thoughts to consider before diving in. And, I am certain I could (and likely will) double the amount of edible entries before long. Some of you seasoned flower eaters already know what's missing. Some of you newbies are already dizzy.

When it comes to edible flowers, there is opportunity for year-round harvest ripe for the plucking if you have the inclination. There is sustenance, nutrition, and medicine everywhere we look. From an aromatherapist's point of view, this a gateway to edible aromatherapy! So, here is my small attempt to gather up all I can to present you with a bouquet (figuratively speaking) of the bounty so often overlooked.

In light of the sheer volume of entries, you will not be showered with pictures of all these gorgeous creations. You will, however, find that each name contains a link to an informative article sporting a picture or two. You will see all kinds of flowers including vegetable, herb/spice, tree and even some "weed" flowers. I've included a few notes on serving and flavor for a quick glimpse.

Now, settle in and follow me as we explore an extensive list of edible flowers!

A few thoughts before diving in
  • This is a living list. It is very likely there is more to add, so be sure to reach out and let me know in the comments below.

  • When I speak of eating any flower I am speaking of organically grown specimens, nothing endangered or protected, or illegally harvested.

  • Some plants may be edible in limited amounts.

  • Just because humans can eat them does not mean your pets can (or animals in general).

  • Safety as well as flavor can vary between species, so educate yourself.

  • Since flowers are typically where the seeds for next year come from, make sure to leave plenty for posterity.

The Edible Entries

Allum - flavor is according to the species: chives, garlic, leeks, onion, scallions, shallots.

Angelica - raw or cooked , floral anise flavor

Anise blossom- licorice flavor (you may be familiar with the seed)

Apple blossoms - apple with citrus and honey notes

Arugula blossoms - zesty, peppery, eat raw or cooked

Artichoke buds - are artichokes. They have a gorgeous bloom and they taste like YUM!

Barge (Suddav) - eat raw, in small amounts as it can cause stomach upset

Basil flowers - fresh or dried for cooking or tea, light licorice flavor

Bee Balm flowers - fresh or dried for medicinal tea, minty with a bit of citrus

Begonias - (tuberous or wax) raw or dried, medicinal, sour and slightly bitter.

Edible flowers
Broad Bean Flower

Black Locust - raw or cooked, floral essence mixed with sweet early peas.

Brassica flowers - fresh or cooked, generally have a gentler flavor of the plant.

Broad bean (Fava bean) flowers - fresh/raw, reflect a milder taste of the bean

Burnet flower - fresh or dried as a seasoning, spicy and nutty with mild cucumber flavor

Butterfly Pea Flower - fresh or dried for tea, mild "green" flavor if any

Calendula - raw as garnish or cooked, dried for medicinal use, slightly bitter

Carnations - petals only, raw, mildly sweet with a peppery tang

Chamomile - raw/fresh, dried for medicinals, teas and tinctures, sweet and floral - unique to itself

Chickweed flowers - raw with the tender tops, medicinal, tastes like cornsilk.

Chervil flower - raw or in tea, mild anise flavor

Coriander/Cilantro flowers - raw or in tea/tinctures, herbaceous

Chicory flower - raw, in tinctures and teas, medicinal, dried, bitter

Chrysanthemums - raw or dried, medicinal, wide variety of flavors.

Cherry Blossom -

Citrus blossoms - cooked, flavors vary to species, bitter if raw.

Clover flowers - red / white, raw is survival food while cooked is better tasting and more digestible, taste like green beans, red is medicinal and ok for bodies but not for bunnies

Cornflowers or Batchelor's Button - raw and candied, medicinal teas or tinctures, mild sweet clove flavor

Daisies - including Yarrow (highly medicinal) and Pineapple Weed, raw or steeped for tea may be spicy, bitter, or nutty

Dandelions - buds petals and greens, lots of ideas to look into

Dame's Rocket - fresh blossoms or cooked buds, peppery and slightly sweet

Day Lilies - only some varieties and way too many to go into, so you'll need to look around

Dianthus - pink tips, sweet and spicy, often crystallized for cake decorations

Elder Flowers - highly versatile and medicinal, fresh green, lightly floral flavor

Fennel flower - raw or cooked, light licorice flavor

French Marigold - raw or cooked, citrussy flavor (highly medicinal EO)

Geraniums - petals can be used raw and are usually used for flavoring, flavors reflect the name of the species (lemon, rose, etc)

Ginger flower - some may not be edible, tastes like...ginger

Gladioli (petals only) - raw as food cups, similar to lettuce

Hyssop - fresh or dried for teas and tinctures, medicinal, slight anise flavor

Edible Hyssop Flowers
Hyssop Flowers

Hollyhocks - fresh flowers and leaves,

Honeysuckle - raw or cooked, tastes like...honey

Fireweed - raw, fruity floral flavor

Forsythia - raw or cooked, medicinal

Fuschia - raw, light lemony flavor to spicy and grape

Garden Sorel - raw or cooked, astringent flavor much like cranberries

Hibiscus - raw, dried, or cooked for flavoring, medicinal, has a cherry/berry essence

Hosta flowers - raw or cooked (or stir fry in late spring), mildly sweet

Impatiens - raw, sweet flavor

Lavender - raw or cooked, tastes like...lavender

Lemon Balm/Melissa flowers - raw or dried, medicinal, lemony flavor

Lemon Verbena flower - raw, cooked, or dried, medicinal teas or tinctures, lemony flavor

Lilac - best used for infusing or tinctures, bitter to lemony

Linden - dried for tinctures or teas, sweet flavor

Lovage - raw or candied, celery-like flavor with hint of anise

Jasmine - only the Jasminum species is edible, so you will need to make sure of what you've got. The aroma is strong and aids the flavor which can be sweet, fruity, yet tart and bitter all at once. Infusing and baking are most popular.

Marigolds (African/American) - said to have an intense flavor, edible in limited amounts

Marjoram - raw, taste is a milder version of the leaves

Marshmallow flowers - cooked, no distinct flavor

Meadowsweet - dried for tea or steeped in tinctures, medicinal, mild almond and vanilla

Milkweed flowers - raw in small amounts, blanched, mild asparagus flavor

Mint - raw or cooked/steeped, mild mint flavor

Nasturtium - flowers and leaves or pickle seeds like capers, mild peppery flavor

Okra - raw or cooked, nutty asparagus flavor

Onion flower - raw or dried and use as seasoning, has a mild onion flavor

Oregano - raw or dried, mild oregano flavor

Pak choi/ Bok Choy flowers - raw or cooked, tastes like broccoli

Pansies - raw, dried, or baked, mild sweet green flavor

Pea flowers - raw, mild green pea taste

Peonies - parboiled or infused, mild peach or strawberry flavor

Petunias - raw or candied, light green, sweet flavor

Phlox - perennial only as low creeping phlox is toxic, raw, slightly spicy

Pineapple Guava - raw, mild honey flavor

Primrose - raw, crystalized or infused, gentle floral flavor

Queen Anne's Lace/ Carrot flower - raw, batter fried, infused, mild carrot flavor

Roses - raw, baking, dried or fresh for teas or infused water, medicinal, tastes guessed it

Rosehips - raw, cooked or baked, medicinal, intense tangy flavor

Rosemary flowers - raw, dried, infused, baking and cooking, medicinal, mild Rosemary flavor but sweeter

Savory - raw or cooked, dried for spice, flavor is milder than the leaves

Edible Savory Flowers
Savory in Bloom

Snapdragon/antirrhinum - raw, bitter but very showy

Squash flowers (male) - raw or cooked (lots of recipes online), light squash flavor

Sunflower - petals or steamed buds (like artichokes)

Sweet Woodruff - raw as a garnish in limited amounts, essence of fresh hay

Thyme - raw or use for infusions or tea, light lemony flavor

Tulip petals - raw or cooked, flavor depends on variety - pea, cucumber, vegetal

Violets - whole, raw or infused, sweet floral flavor

Yucca Petals (only) - cooked, taste is similar to artichoke heart

Where to Start

Start with just one; one flower, one recipe, or simply one petal. How about trying one recipe a week that includes one of the edible entries listed above? Consider the current season, then go out and have a look around. Be sure to double and even triple check your sources for safety information. Make sure the specimen is chemical free and washed. Try making a tea. Invite someone to try it with you. Teas are an easy way to start. Always be sure to take a few moments to take in the aroma!

Finally, if you enjoyed this post, please comment and/or leave a rating.

Sources, Resources and Such:

30 Edible Flowers You Can Eat Right Out Of Your Garden (

Edible Flowers | 130 Varieties | Eden Brothers 

Flowers You Can Eat, Edible Flowers | Gardener's Supply (

The Edible Flower Garden (Edible Garden Series) Paperback – March 15, 1999


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