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Growing Guide: Edible Flowers

Eating Flowers

  • Edible flowers include any flower that isn’t poisonous or that may cause a negative reaction. People who have have hay fever, asthma, or severe pollen allergies are advised not to consume flowers.
  • Warning: Just because a flower is edible doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes good.
    • Plant identification is key because some flowers have look-alikes that are not edible.
    • Typically, flowers grown by a florist or nursery have been sprayed with chemicals. Only eat flowers that have been grown organically to avoid pesticide residue.
    • Avoid flowers that are not fully open or are starting to wilt.

Harvesting Edible Flowers

  • Collect flowers for eating in the cooler parts of the day — preferably early morning after the dew has evaporated — or late afternoon.
  • Most blossoms should be harvested at or near opening. Blossoms taste and look their best right after they have opened.
  • Store clean blossoms in a hard container in the refrigerator.
  • For most flowers (except violas and pansies) the sepals (parts below the petals) are not tasty and should be removed before eating.
  • After harvesting place flowers in a shaded basket without crushing.

Enjoying Edible Flowers

  • Before using, gently wash the flowers with cool water. Cool water can also freshen flowers that may have started to wilt during harvesting.
  • Some blossoms require you to remove the reproductive organs such as the stamens and styles before eating.
  • Some flowers have only edible petals (Ex. roses, calendulas, tulips, chrysanthemums, yucca, and lavender).
  • Gently wrapping flowers in moist paper towels and refrigerating in an airtight container can prolong flower usage.
  • Flowers can be added to many dishes as garnish, teas, and salads to add flavor and bright brilliant colors!