What is more lovely than the scent of a flower? Eating a flower! Edible flowers add beauty and flavor to dishes and drinks. They’re sure to be a conversation piece at a party. When growing edible flowers, follow these simple tips:
- Be sure of the variety that you are picking. Some plants, even edible plants, have flowers that are poisonous.
- Consider removing the stamen and style from the flower before eating; some people have an allergic reaction when they eat pollen.
- Pick flowers in the morning when they are fresh and hydrated. Store them in the refrigerator up to 3 days in a damp paper towel.
- Wash the flowers in cool water and shake them to dislodge insects.
- Only eat flowers from plants that have not been treated with chemicals and are grown organically. Many plants from commercial nurseries are grown as edibles, so make sure you ask about the chemical treatments that may have been applied before consuming.
This list is provided for informational purposes only. Please thoroughly check scientific names of plants, research edibility and obtain proper identifications before consuming.
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Annual Flowers for Florida:
Spanish needle (bidens alba)
Cosmos (cosmos sulphureus – orange and yellow)
Dill (reseeds easily)
If you’re short on space, consider growing your annual veggies, herbs and edible flowers in a space saving vertical garden. Our favorite is the GreenStalk Vertical Garden. It is soil based, affordable and really easy to use. Plus, it’s made of recycled materials in the USA, and family owned.
Dotted Horsemint (monarda punctata)
Turks cap hibiscus
Blue butterfly pea vine
Passionflower (not passiflora subterosa)
What are you going to do with all these edible flowers?
It depends on their flavor. Some are spicy or garlicy tasty. I like those for salads and savory dishes, either as a garnish or in the dish. Others are sweet tasting. Those are great in salads too, as a pretty topping for a cupcake or other dessert treat, or even as a snack. Many make a wonderful tea.
I’ve seen people make herbed butter and fancy butter rolls for holiday meals with edible flowers, herbs and even dried fruit. There really aren’t limits to what you do with your edible blooms. Just keep in mind that most flowers are quite delicate, and will simply wilt away if they’re cooked.
Are you local to Tampa Bay?
Stop by our Garden Shop, opening in January 2021. It’s in St. Petersburg, near Gulfport, at The Hive St. Pete. We carry organically grown veggies and herbs, including edible flowers, small fruit trees, native Florida and Florida friendly plants, and garden essentials. We are looking forward to being one of the few distributors of ollas in Florida.