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Incorporate these 100 edible flower seeds into your garden and kitchen this year
Flowers aren’t just for beauty, you know—there are almost as many edible flowers as there are herbs.
Have you ever eaten candied pansies at a tea party? Have you ever been served fried squash blossoms at a high-end restaurant? One sure way to add elegance to any dish is to top it with fresh blossoms from the flower patch. Food is art, after all, and presentation is everything.
Not all flowers are edible, but there are plenty that are. Don’t go eating just anything—some of our favorite blooms, like daffodils, sweet peas, and foxgloves are toxic to humans when ingested. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation by listing our favorite edible flowers that are safe for human consumption. But bear in mind that it is good practice to introduce new flowers into your diet carefully and slowly, just in case you have an allergy you’re unaware of.
You might have heard of the most common edible flowers—lavender, pansies, and sunflowers, of course. But nasturtiums, carnations, and marigold are among the kitchen-friendly flowers as well! And we’re aren't talking about flowers that are purely decorative—most of the flowers have their own unique taste and flavor profile all their own to bring to the table.
Nasturtiums taste a little peppery, carnations slightly spicy, and marigolds have a citrusy, saffron-esque flavor. While most chefs focus on using the flowers themselves, as they’re the most visually appealing and the flavors seem to be concentrated in the flowers themselves, you can eat the foliage of edible flowers too.
Plant a blend of annual and perennial edible flowers to feed the butterflies and save the bees
It’s no wonder the pollinators go crazy over these beauties. Plant some of these edible annual and perennial flowers in your garden and you’ll be fighting the pollinators for your share! Just kidding, these hardy plants are known for being productive—and the more you pick, the more flowers you’ll have.
Snacking aside, all 100 of these edible flower varieties are top of the list in our cut flower crop plan, too. Why not make a few edible flower arrangements for the farmers' market this year? Or you could bring farm-fresh salads adorned with pansies or calendula blossoms to your family gatherings this season. Imagine the look on their faces when you explain how nutritious (and delicious) fresh buds can be.
Dry your favorite edible flowers for garden-fresh color and flavor year-round
Pair these edible flowers with a selection of fresh herbs for an unending supply of fresh spices and garnishes all season. You can even grow a little tea garden by planting herbs like mint and chamomile along with calendula and cornflower and any other fragrances or flavors that strike your fancy. Harvest stems and springs of fresh herbs and bunch them to dry in a cool, dark place to retain the color. If you have access to a food dehydrator or even an oven on a low setting (around 100°F), you can expedite the process and dry your own edible flowers at home! Just make sure you learn the proper techniques for planting and tending seeds in Gardening 101.
If you needed another reason to grow flowers in your garden this year, here it is. These 100 varieties of edible flowers are as tasty as they are beautiful. Impress your friends and tap into your creative side by experimenting with floral recipes this season. Intercrop these edible flowers with your vegetable and herbs, and just see if your eating garden doesn’t seem that much more abundant this year.