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50 Flowers That Are Safe to Eat

If you’re looking for a way to bring beauty to your dishes, try growing one of these colorful edibles

Here's a small flower bouquet of incredible edibles. Photo: Susan Belsinger

Upon request after a webinar on flowers in the kitchen, I am posting a list of some flowers that are safe to eat. You are responsible for proper identification.

When trying edible flowers, sniff and then taste them. Don’t use them if they don’t taste good to you. Most herb flowers are safe to eat and generally taste like the herb leaves. Remember, when an herb is flowering, it sends a lot of its essential oils into the bloom to attract pollinators—so even small, tiny florets or little flowers can be strong in flavor.

My favorite ways to use edible flowers are in salads, in beverages, and as garnishes; mostly I use them fresh, although I do cook some in baked goods and puddings. And, of course, I love preparing fried squash blossoms!

50 edible flowers to try growing 

1. Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

2. Apple (Malus species)

3. Basil (Ocimum basiilicum, O. species)

bee balm edible flowers
Red-flowered Monarda didyma, also called bee balm, is wonderful in beverages, desserts, and fruit salads. Photo: Susan Belsinger

4. Bee balm (Monarda didyma, M. species)

5. Borage (Borago officinalis)

6. Burnet (Pimpinella saxifraga)

7. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

8. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

9. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum, A. tuberosum)

10. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum xmorifolium, C. coronarium)

11. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

12. Daisy (Bellis perennis)

13. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Daylillies edible flowers
Daylilies are a favorite edible bloom. Gently break the petals off the stem and scatter them on salads or use as crudites. Photo: Susan Belsinger

14. Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

15. Dill (Anethum graveolens)

16. Elderberry (Sambucus caerulea, S. canadensis)

17. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

18. Gladiolus (Gladiolus species)

19. Grape hyacinth (Muscari atlanticum, M. botryoides)

20. Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

21. Honeysuckle (Lonicera species)

22. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia, L. × intermedia)

23. Lemon (Citrus limonum)

24. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

25. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

26. Lovage (Levisticum officinale)

27. Marigold (Tagetes erecta, T. tenuifolia)

28. Marjoram/oregano (Origanum majorana, O. × majoricum, O. species)

29. Mint (Mentha species)

30. Mustard (Brassica species)

“Nasties” are one of my favorites; their spiciness is reminiscent of watercress. I use both the flowers and the leaves in salads, in butters, and as a garnish. Photo: Susan Belsinger

31. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

32. Orange (Citrus sinensis)

33. Peas (Pisum sativum)

34. Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)

35. Pinks (Dianthus species)

36. Plum (Prunus species)

37. Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

38. Rocket (Eruca vesicaria, E. sativa)

39. Rose (Rosa species)

40. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

41. Runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus)

42. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

43. Savory (Satureia hortensis, S. montana)

44. Scented geraniums (Pelargonium species)

45. Squash blossoms (Cucurbita species)

46. Thyme (Thymus species)

47. Tulip (Tulipa species)

Pansies and all of the violas are lovely candied and used on desserts, or floated fresh in beverages. Photo: Susan Belsinger

48. Violet, pansy, Johnny-jump-up (Viola odorata, V. × wittrockiana, V. tricolor)

49. Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

50. Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)


This list originally appeared in Flowers in the Kitchen by Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press, 1991, and has been updated.

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