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Edible Flowers: Part Two


Last year we posted the blog Edible Flowers you can use in your kitchen which was very popular amongst our more culinary adventurous and green-fingered customers. As we stated then, there are many flowers that we can use in our food - both for flavour and decoration, so we've decided to do a follow up with some more edible flowers. They are a fantastic way of adding a unique twist to many dishes and always cause a bit of a stir when served to unsuspecting guests! You'll find that “Can I eat this?” is a very common question!

As always a few words of caution before we get going. It's important to make sure the flowers you intend to eat haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals that could be harmful when ingested. Most commercially produced flowers aren't sold with the intention of being eaten so you do have to be careful. I would highly recommend growing them yourself or collecting them from friends or relatives gardens so you can be sure! Now the weather is finally getting better it's the perfect time to plant some flowers in your garden that you can enjoy as part of your cuisine, just remember to give them a wash as you would any herb or vegetable!

Chive Blossoms

We are all familiar with chives, they are also very easy to grow in small containers on windowsills if you don't have a garden, but did you know you can also eat the flowers that will grow from chive plants? The part of the plant we are most familiar with are the green leaves and the flowers will grow on a separate stem. If you wish to eat these lovely little purple flowers, just snip them off the stem because the stem isn't edible. You can harvest the leaves and flowers as and when you want to use them. Chives are perennial, so they'll grow back every year!

Chive blossoms are also loved by bees so they are a fantastic addition to your garden for that reason too! They have a slightly onion-like taste and are great for adding to salads and anywhere you might be used to adding chopped chives. Yes, you can make and enjoy a cheese and chive blossom sandwich!

Edible Viola

Viola have become very popular edible flowers over the last few years, even appearing in some of the more 'high-end' supermarkets in the salad sections! If you can't grow the flowers yourself, then a quick look online reveals several places you can buy Viola to eat. However these are excellent plants for your garden, they are very hardy and require very little fuss to grow. They are also another plant that are highly attractive to pollinators. Many varieties are in the violet/purple colour range but they can also be white, orange and yellow. We'll admit that they don't have much flavour other than a slightly minty/floral taste, but they look so fantastic on a plate that they still make excellent edible decoration.

The vast majority of viola flowers are safe to eat, with some even having been said to have medicinal properties, however flowers like the 'African Violet' and 'Dogtooth Violet' are actually not true viola and are considered poisonous. So always check that the variety of viola you are growing is safe to eat before doing so.


Most people are familiar with rose petals being used to make rose flavoured syrups, sugar, butters etc but rose petals can be a lot more versatile than many people realise. I think this is because they are so treasured by growers as decoration it might seem a little uncouth to pull the petals off!

Rose petals can be added to the top of desserts, tossed into salads and even made into rose ice-cream! As far as I'm aware all roses are completely safe to eat too but do check on your exact variety just to be sure. All varieties of rose (of which there are many) will add a unique floral aroma, wonderful colour and sweetness to many dishes. The stronger the smell of the flower, the more flavour the petals will usually have, so use that as a guide if you don't want your prized dessert to taste too floral.


Daylilies are another beautiful and decorative flower that's fairly easy to grow yourself. Unlike Lilys (which are poisonous) Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are edible and pretty delicious! These versatile flowers can be pickled, found as an ingredient in Chinese soups or just tossed into a summer salad. The colour of Daylilies are mainly in the golden yellow range, but some are more orange and some varieties even get into more pink and red colouration. Hemerocallis are safe to eat but please be sure you aren't eating something that either looks similar or has a similar 'lily' name.


These used to be very popular flowers and grown widely across Britain but they seem to have fallen out of fashion a little. Maybe if we were all munching on them a little more they may start to become more popular again? To enjoy Carnations you need to do a little work as it's only the petals that taste nice. The pollen in the stamen can be quite nasty, so remove the petals and pop them in a bowl of cool water and give them a swirl around, then scoop them onto some kitchen paper to dry. Carnation leaves taste fantastic and have a great spicy taste that's a little like clove or nutmeg. For that reason they make a nice addition to cakes and other bakery recipes that would benefit from these flavours. You can also add Carnations to salads, they work really well with other slightly spicy leaves like rocket and spinach where their flavour doesn't feel too out of place.


Snapdragons might be my favourite edible flower. I've always loved them since I was a child, firstly because they have a cool name and secondly because you can do that 'thing' where you pinch the sides in and make the dragon's mouth open and close- it's just so utterly adorable! Unfortunately the taste of snapdragon flowers are not in the same league as roses or carnations and they are slightly bitter, but hey- sometimes a little bitterness is fine or even desirable. The wide variety of colours makes them a spellbinding addition to salads, just be sure to add some sweeter ingredients like pomegranate, sugar-snap peas or some sweet tomatoes to balance the flavours out. 


We hope this second blog will inspire you further to use some of the flowers in your garden in your kitchen too! Please go back and check out out first blog here for even more ideas. As the weather gets better and we all start to eat more salads, nothing could be simpler and more exciting than adding a splash of colour from some beautiful blossoms.


  • Would like to share my love of gardening

    Margaret Dorothy Hunt
  • Love the nasturtiums both for lively salads and their colourful beauty. My Dad was a gardener and grew loads of lovely produce on the allotment including one year a square of Sweet corner. It was lovely to pick them fresh. They did grow them a couple of years ago in the field behind our home. We did pick a couple. The produce is rotated we had lovely blue flax one year it was a sea of blue. Gorgeous

    Margaret Dorothy Hunt

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