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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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Go to the Source

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 now


+ add your own
1:42PM PDT on Apr 10, 2015


11:41AM PDT on Apr 10, 2015

Ute, would goats agree with you?

11:30AM PDT on Apr 10, 2015


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


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


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


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