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42 Flowers You Can Eat

Lemon Verbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon–and great for teas and desserts.

Lilac
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

Mint
The flowers are–surprise!–minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

Nasturtium
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

Pansy
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

Radish
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

Squash and Pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, the bud steamed like an artichoke.

Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet, and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.

Excerpted from the book True Food: Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier You (National Geographic, 2009) By Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer, and Wendy Gordon

More Related:
Edible Lilac
Eating Violets

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Lawns & Gardens,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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True Food: Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier You

How to shop, prepare, eat and enjoy food in ways healthy for your body and the planet.buy now

159 comments

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11:20PM PDT on May 8, 2013

Always check to see if they are edible! Nasturtiums are so nice to float them on a plate or put in a salad! All these will draw butterflies and birds and bees! Thank You

1:59AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Thanks

1:33PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

WOW i never knew there were so many...thanks very much for the great info.

1:15PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

dzięki

11:11AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Interesting and informative.

3:25PM PDT on May 27, 2012

This article reminds me of my dad always saying that he'd rather plant something he could eat instead of flowers lol

5:20PM PDT on May 24, 2012

thanks

7:01PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Jasmine is toxic in bigger amount-- stop by 5! Red Clover and clover contains plant hormones, that can bring disorder to male and female fertility. Chrysantemes make allergies, are a little toxic. But what about roses petals? Thats great with sugar for decoration or in green salads or in tea. Be sure there are no pesticides used on the flowers you eat..

1:27AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

10:41AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

.Interesting, thank you for sharing :))

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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