flower petals on a plate

Top 10 Flowers You Can Eat: Plant Them for Looks and Taste

Most people who grow plants in their garden tend to focus on either flowers vs. edible plants, or even both at the same time, but not so much on edible flowers. There are many flowers you can eat, which can provide your meals with a boost of flavor and a touch of color. If you’re interested in growing flowers you can eat, you’re going to love the topic of today’s article. We’re going to provide you with a top 10 edible flowers that have both a pretty look and an appealing taste.

Top 10 Flowers You Can Eat

1. Pansies

Pansies are one of the most popular types of flowers you can eat and you can easily grow in your garden. That’s because they’re tiny, colorful, and delicate, and they can spruce up the look of any garden or backyard. Still, not many people know that you can actually eat pansies, not just use them as decorative plants. Pansies are typically used for cake and pastry decoration since they look amazing on top of a sweet treat. You can also put them in soups, use them as a cocktail garnish, and even as a colorful lemonade ingredient.

If you’re wondering how pansies taste like, the answer differs according to how you plant them. You should expect them to taste either grassy or wintergreen. They can also taste tangy, in which case you might want to pay attention to what kind of food you add them to since it can change its taste quite drastically.

2. Dandelions

What we love most about dandelions is that you can eat every single piece of them. You don’t have to limit yourself to eating just the petals. You can also eat their roots, stem, and so on. Plus, they’re extremely easy to grow, so you can enjoy them in your meals without that much of an effort. Not only will they make for a healthy and tasty treat, but they’ll also bring a touch of bright yellow to your food, which can be what motivates you to eat it.

There are a lot of ways in which you can use dandelions for nutrition purposes, which is all the more reason to plant some in your garden. For instance, salads that contain dandelions are truly delicious, while dandelion wine is something everyone should try at least once in their life. You can also take the dandelion seeds and roast them since they’re a great coffee alternative. Dandelions are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which is another added benefit of eating them.

3. Roses

Roses are perhaps one of the most common edible flowers out there, and they’re definitely one of the most popular options when it comes to decorative flowers you can eat. A lot of people decorate all sorts of cakes, chocolates, and other sweet treats with rose petals since they look really pretty and provide the sweets with some extra color and fragrance. Apart from sweets, you can also use rose petals in jellies, drinks, and even more traditional dishes such as risotto.

Moving on to how rose petals actually taste, their fragrant nature provides them with a rather sweet taste, depending on the shade of the petals as well. For instance, the darker the shade is, the deeper the flavor will be. One thing we must mention is that when using roses as edible treats, you should always remove their white heel. It tastes bitter, and it’s not suitable for eating.

4. Bergamot

Another flower you can eat is the bergamot flower, which is well known for its beauty. Even though not many people use it for nutrition purposes, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a really nice choice. Typically, you can use it for desserts and drinks. For example, bergamot tea is truly tasty, and it can also look good if you add some bergamot petals in your teacup.

In terms of desserts, the bergamot flower can provide extra flavor as well as some vibrant colors, as long as you combine it with ingredients such as orange and marigold. Think about how delicious a panna cotta with marigold, orange, and bergamot would taste.

5. Calendula (Marigolds)

Speaking of marigolds, let’s see how you can use them in the kitchen. People discovered the fact that calendula is one of the best flowers they can grow by themselves a long time ago. As a result, people have been using calendula for cooking purposes for centuries. Germans prefer to use this flower in meals such as stew and soup, but that shouldn’t limit your use of it. The calendula flowers are also a nice addition to sweet treats, such as cookies and shortbread.

The taste of marigolds also differs according to their type and how you grow them. They might taste bitter, spicy, peppery, or even tangy. Which is why we recommend tasting them prior to deciding what you’re going to use them for. Sometimes, they can taste like saffron. Remember that you can only eat the petals, so throw the rest of it away.

6. Clover

Rabbits love clover, that’s for sure, but humans can love it as well. Even if most people consider clovers to be weeds, they’re actually flowers which have been used by humans for different purposes for a while now. For instance, Native Americans would prepare salads that contained all the parts of a clover plant, as well as use it for tea which was meant to cure colds and coughs.

They come in different colors, and as long as you don’t use flowers which are already turning brown (and which are bitter by now), you should feel free to use clover in teas, pudding, and other types of sweets. It will naturally enhance the sweet taste since they taste just like licorice.

7. Honeysuckle

As the name suggests, the honeysuckle flowers taste like honey, which makes them the perfect flowers to eat. Due to their sweet taste, they don’t really go well with actual meals, but they do make a perfect addition to sweets and teas. You can use them to sweeten your tea naturally, especially if you enjoy tea that is not extremely sweet. Moreover, you can use them as an ingredient for homemade ice cream. We guarantee it will be a hit this spring and upcoming summer!

There’s one thing we must mention about the honeysuckle, and that’s the fact that its berries are extremely poisonous. Which is why you have to pay a lot of attention when harvesting honeysuckle flowers. The petals are the only part of the plant you can safely eat.

8. Lilac

We all know how lovely lilac flowers smell. They’re one of the most fragrant and colorful flowers you can grow in your garden. Still, not that many people know that lilac flowers are also flowers you can eat. Their flavor varies, mostly according to the type of lilac you use, but one thing’s for sure, and that’s that they’re all extremely fragrant. Some varieties can be a bit bitter, while others have a slight lemony taste, which combines with pungent floral overtones.

The good news is that you can use lilac flowers both for sweet recipes and for salads or other such meals. Their taste is going to be complemented even further by the color of the petals and their intoxicating fragrance.

9. Sunflowers

Sunflower seeds are already a popular snack. While the actual sunflower petals aren’t as popular, they’re still quite delicious and worthy of being included in your meals. If you’re curious how you can eat sunflowers, we’re here to tell you all about it. You should know that when the flowers are still buds, they taste just like artichokes. So if you enjoy the taste of artichokes, you should harvest sunflower buds and steam them like you would artichokes.

That doesn’t mean that if you have sunflowers which have already flowered, you can’t use them for cooking purposes. The petals taste just like chrysanthemums petals, so you can use them in salads, stir-fries, or to provide vinegar with flavor. They have a distinctly bittersweet taste that a lot of people are extremely fond of.

10. Tulips

Finally, we wanted to end our guide on 10 of the best flowers you can eat with tulips. There are many tulip varieties out there, and their taste differs accordingly. Still, most of them have a distinct taste which resembles fresh baby peas, sweet lettuce, or cucumber. This means they’re perfect for all sorts of salads and as a garnish.

A very important mention is that some people can be extremely allergic to tulips and have strong reactions to them. So if you’re not sure whether this could happen to you or not, or if touching the tulip plants causes you numbness or rashes, you should never use tulip petals in your meals. Moreover, the tulip bulbs aren’t edible, regardless of whether or not you’re allergic to tulips.

Summing It All Up

As we hope we’ve managed to prove in today’s article, there are plenty of flowers you can eat, as well as decorate your garden or backyard with. If any of the options above peaked your interest, don’t hesitate to give them a try. As an extra resource, here’s how to make an edible flower salad.

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Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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