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Too pretty to eat

Hi Barbie – I was very inspired by your post about the Edible Flowers in your garden. It got me thinking, how many edible flowers do I have in my garden? Your list is really very comprehensive and includes some flowers I did not know were edible.

I’ve been watching a lot of MasterChef series lately and am always charmed by the look of the dishes that use edible flowers in their plating, but have never ‘tried this at home’. I’m starting to get the whole attraction of decorating a dish with edible flowers, so armed with my camera I went to investigate what flowers I could use to impress guests at my next dinner party.

I was amazed at just how many I have …

[one_half]Sweet little Coriander flowersCoriander flowers[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The Waterblommetjies in my pondThe Waterblommetjies in my pond[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Borage is a popular oneBorage is a popular one[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Lavender … I always have plentyLavender ... I always have plenty[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Salvia – Really? People eat them?Salvia - Really? People eat them?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Jasmine – could be nice with riceJasmine - could be nice with rice[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Chrysanthemum are prettyChrysanthemum are pretty[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White Violas are lovelyWhite Violas are lovely[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Tiniest little violets I’ve ever seenTiniest little violets I've ever seen[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Mint – smells wonderfulMint - smells wonderful[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Cute little blue pansiesCute little blue pansies[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The common MarigoldThe common Marigold[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Dianthus – who knew they were edibleDianthus - who knew they were edible[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Flower on the purple pepperFlower on the purple pepper[/one_half_last]

Some that are not flowering right now …

[one_half]Day Lily – Do people really eat them?Day Lily - Do people really eat them?[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Apple blossoms are prettyApple blossoms are pretty[/one_half_last]

[one_half]and Lemon blossoms are so fragrantand Lemon blossoms are so fragrant[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Four leaf clover – oxalisFour leaf clover - oxalis[/one_half_last]

A few others I’m not showing here are Impatiens, Fuchsia, Sweet Basil, Nasturtium and Begonias amongst others. I’m not sure I’d use many of them in cooking though but I’ll give a few a try.

What Edible Flowers do you have growing in your garden? And do you use them for cooking?

I would love to see a chart made of every single “edible flower” with a photograph, full name and “best used in …” info. A fun project if people from all over the world contributed. Hmmm…. I’ll make the chart if people send me info and once complete I’ll share it.

Happy Gardening

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

15 replies on “Too pretty to eat”

Hi Christine.
I love your blog I just started a small garden on my stoep and I love all your edible flowers. I have a lemon verbena that apparently makes a nice refreshing juice. I haven’t tried it yet but I can’t wait.

I have nine of what you showed, but only use the mint for summer drinks. Your photos of all the flowers are very pretty. The Coriander is my favorite.

I love your idea of making a chart. I’ve never tried eating flowers, but I have put rose blooms and petals in an ice ring for decorating punch. Guess that’s as adventurous as I get!

I don’t grow anything special in the way of flowers to eat. Rucola flowers are pretty, yellow for the wild kind and white for cultivated, both taste like the leaves, I use them in salads. I’ll send you some images so anything I can think of that I personally use so you can produce your chard; I think that’s a fun idea. Christina

Wow – look how many you have!! Amazing, hey? I LOVE LOVE your idea of an Edible Flower Chart! 🙂 🙂 🙂
This will be an ideal gift to any gardener/cook! Let’s work on it! I’m in!

These edible flower posts are so intriguing. I may have to do a little walk through the garden and ponder what all is edible. Your beautiful shot of the coriander makes me long for more cilantro in the garden. It has the most delicate little flowers for such a strong tasting plant.

I still can’t get over the fact that Fuchsias are edible! They have to be one of the most exquisite flowers on earth, and then to think they’re edible, too. Wow! I’m a little cautious about eating flowers. But maybe I need to be a little more adventurous…with a little research to back it up, of course. 🙂 The one flower I’ve always wanted to try, and have read repeatedly is edible, is Nasturtium. I don’t grow Nasturtiums because of my limited sun, but someday…

I’ve been watching MasterChef, too. I love how they do the plating. I saw an announcement recently for a plating and photography workshop.

I have my first nasturtium flower just opening up, but I will probably just watch it bloom and not eat it. I keep meaning to throw some zucchini blossoms in a salad, but haven’t tried it yet.

Young daylily pods are quite delicious sautéed in a bit of olive oil! And garlic chives are terrific in many dishes, the blooms as well as the stems. Once in a while I will pick violets to decorate a cake or other dessert. Most of the time, I’m like you… they are too pretty to eat! ( I have also read that kudzu, the rampant and notorious weed that is eating the South, including a hillside behind my house, is very nutritious. I will remember this if we ever are starving!)

Indeed, only the light coloured and the oragen colour daylilies are edibles. The daylilies of dark colour are just to see… There are few types of salvias that you can eat. That one on your beautiful pic is a ornamental salvia, not edible! And, at last, but not least, all oxalis are edibles, but just a little. They have oxalic acid, which in high consume can be poisonous. BTW, my favorite edible flower (and leaves and seeds!) are the nasturtiuns (in Brazil, we call it of “capuchinhas”), that is a fantastic and beautiful plant!


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