The Q&A Archives: Edible Flowers


Answer: A great reference book is
"Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate" by Cathy
Wilkinson Barash, pub. in 1993 by Fulcrum Publishing in
Colorado 1-800-992-2908.

First of all, do not eat flowers if you have asthma,
allergies, or hay fever. And eat only those that have been
grown organically and have no pesticide residue. Collect
flowers for eating in the cooler parts of the day -- preferably
early morning after the dew has evaporated. Choose
flowers that are at their peak, avoiding those that are not
fully open or are starting to wilt. Immediately before using,
wash the flowers, checking for bugs and dirt. Remove the
stamens and styles from flowers before eating -- the pollen
can detract from the flavor and some people are allergic to
it. Remove the sepals of all flowers except violas,
Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies. Only the petals of some
flowers, such as rose, calendula, tulip, chrysanthemum,
yucca, and lavender are edible. (You can eat the entire
flowers of johnny-jump-up, violet, runner bean,
honeysuckly, and clover.) Roses, dianthus, English daisies,
Signet marigolds, and chrysanthemums have a bitter white
portion at the base of the petal where it was attached to the
flower; remove before using. Dandelion leaves are delicious
in salads or cooked as a green. The flowers are edible when
young; they become bitter with age. Remove dandelions'
sepals--they are bitter. You can also eat both the flowers
and the leaves of nasturtiums. I hope this gives you some pointers.

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