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What are your favorite edible flowers?

 
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My wife likes flowers. I like to eat. I know there are several varieties of flowers that are edible. Please, tell me what your favorites are, what growing conditions they like best, and any known sources for them.

I live in central KY.

Thanks for your input.
 
pollinator
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Pansies and johnny jump ups might be my favourite. They taste like bubblegum and grow like weeds. Here, the ones that overwinter start flowering before anything else in the spring. We have very poor, dry, sandy, rocky soil that they spread themselves through just fine. They're even growing in our 2-3" deep pebble paths. They also grow like weeds in my mum's rich loamy soil, so I don't think they're picky.
 
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The only flowers that I have eaten are squash and nasturiams.

They make pretty salads but not too filling.
 
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Borage! The flower is completely edible and is a really pretty blue, and you can also eat the young leaves in salads. Borage likes at least partial sun, but isn't particularly picky about soil; I've grown it in both corners of the country, and it's done fine.

Be warned: once you have it, you have it. It self-sows like mad.

borage.jpg
[Thumbnail for borage.jpg]
 
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Tim Osborn wrote:My wife likes flowers. I like to eat. I know there are several varieties of flowers that are edible. Please, tell me what your favorites are, what growing conditions they like best, and any known sources for them.

I live in central KY.

Thanks for your input.



Our favorites are calendula, nasturtium, pansies, borage, marigold, squash blossoms, chive blossoms, and day lilies.
 
Anne Miller
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I love everyone's suggestions!

This thread has some really pretty picture of edible flowers and suggestions too:

https://permies.com/t/43954/Edible-Flowers

Here are a few of the pictures:

Stephen Barstow shared this salad:




leila hamaya shared this beautiful one:




Jocelyn Campbell shared this pretty cake:




Alicia Bayer shared these elderflower fritters:


 
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Arugula flowers are my favorite. They have a sweet peppery flavor. They're small compared to many others mentioned, but I think they're really pretty.
 
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Day lily are my favourites - they're large, so much easier to gather a salad (EVO oil, balsamic vinegar and some toasted sesame seeds). Commercially grown in China - Golden Needles or Buddha fingers, can also be dried for later use. Also the shoots and tubers are edible and tasty (eaten it as 'Golden Bamboo' in a noodle stir fry)
Want to try out some Yucca flowers, traditional food in Central America (think Costa Rica, not Kansas...), but I'd hate to pass by 'Roman broccoli', or broccolo romanesco, the ultimate mandelbrot/fractal vegetable...
 
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Great Post😁

Looking forward to learning more about edible flowers.

We are starting a Microgreens Business and I feel adding edible flowers is a great way to add colors to salal and dishes.

They are beautiful and tasty. Adding variety to meals.

Love the Info and looking forward to learning more.

I be interested in learning how or the fastest way to growing them. Seeds, cutting,  pots, beds, indoor, greenhouse, outdoor etc.

 
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Anne Miller wrote:The only flowers that I have eaten are squash and nasturiams.

They make pretty salads but not too filling.



I like the radish flavor nasturtiums add to a salad.
The neighbors look at me funny when I eat some while picking.
They also look at me funny when I eat dandelion blossoms and leaves.
I don't mind being "That weird science teacher" that lives across the street.
 
Phil Swindler
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Crystal Stevens wrote:

Tim Osborn wrote:My wife likes flowers. I like to eat. I know there are several varieties of flowers that are edible. Please, tell me what your favorites are, what growing conditions they like best, and any known sources for them.

I live in central KY.

Thanks for your input.



Our favorites are calendula, nasturtium, pansies, borage, marigold, squash blossoms, chive blossoms, and day lilies.



Once around 10 years ago my wife got day lilies and regular lilies mixed up.  We felt horrible.
 
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Some vegetables are 'bolting' and then they'll start to have flowers (flowerbuds first). I like to eat those flowers. Most of them are of the 'cabbage family'
 
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My annual kale is bolting at the moment. The unopened flower shoots are delicious, like tiny broccoli, and the more I pick the more side shoots form! Rocket flowers are also tasty. I need to get more adventurous and try some of the other flowers mentioned!
 
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Hopniss aka groundnut aka apios americana has beautiful, sweet-tasting flowers.
 
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Calendula, hands down. There is something profoundly healing in this plant. Add a flower sprinkled into your salad, and that simple thing will set you to smiling.
And thank the plant. Flowers want to serve and heal.
They love us.
Hugshugs from autumnal New Zealand.
....Gathering driftwood and kelp on the beach today. Kelp will go into winter sauces, giving a umani boost and driftwoods will go into "hugelkultur" tubs, planted with kumara (native sweet potato), ready to rocket come spring.
 
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Ya'll...fennel blossoms!!
 
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Spiderwort! Beautiful and tasty, and the leaves are edible, too. It does very well in the south where I am. Green Deane says he ferments them to make a tasty kraut, though I haven’t tried it yet.
Daylilies get another vote from me, too. Go for the ditch lily or fulva variety. They are prolific. The best thing about daylilies is that the flowers only last for one day anyway, so you can harvest ALL of the flowers daily, and as long as you leave the other buds, you will have more to harvest the next  day all summer. To me they have very mild flavor, just a crispness like lettuce, which is excellent for summer.
We eat violets all Spring, too as they are everywhere in my area. We also eat the leaves in salads and smoothies.
I want to remind people about dandelion and catsear, flowers, too. They do well battered and fried.
Happy eating!!
 
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Desert Palo Verde Trees produce yellow flowers in grand abundance. They are small, but delightfully sweet. We just pick them off of the tree and put them in our mouths.
 
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Mk Neal wrote:Hopniss aka groundnut aka apios americana has beautiful, sweet-tasting flowers.


Thanks - I'll give them a go. Mine always have somehow contorted flowers, never seen any fruit. Maybe that's to help it not to spread this side of the pond.
 
Anthony Powell
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Dahlia - also useful for edible tubers. This one's 'Wars of the Roses' - a floppy gene results in florets being either red or white.

Alexanders, a good one for winter greens. Then spring flowers, finally seeds with a pepper flavour.
Bistort - I haven't tried the flowers, they do look superb though. I currently stick to the leaves. There are some seeds result from the flowers, which should be like buckwheat.

Meadowsweet - flowers great for tea, fresh or dried. Lindenflower the same.

3-cornered leek. Tastes of spring onion. Not a native over here, and can be invasive - so it's as well to remove the flowers before they fade, as they soon drop out of sight.

 
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L Allen wrote:Borage! The flower is completely edible and is a really pretty blue, and you can also eat the young leaves in salads. Borage likes at least partial sun, but isn't particularly picky about soil; I've grown it in both corners of the country, and it's done fine.

Be warned: once you have it, you have it. It self-sows like mad.



When making ice cubes, if you twice boil the water so when it freezes it is clear, and pop a borage flower in each cube - you have instant beauty for free. It feels wonderful, and takes your summer drinks to a new level.
 
Lisa Sture
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Phil Swindler wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:The only flowers that I have eaten are squash and nasturiams.

They make pretty salads but not too filling.



I like the radish flavor nasturtiums add to a salad.
The neighbors look at me funny when I eat some while picking.
They also look at me funny when I eat dandelion blossoms and leaves.
I don't mind being "That weird science teacher" that lives across the street.



Phil, try the young pods of radishes - they are delicious! A proper delicacy )
 
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Anthony Powell wrote:Dahlia - also useful for edible tubers. This one's 'Wars of the Roses' - a floppy gene results in florets being either red or white.
...



I didn't know dahlias were edible! Something new to try :)

Apparently they can be somewhat toxic to dogs and cats - weird how humans can eat stuff like chocolate and xylitol, but dogs and cats can't.

This article was interesting:
https://www.motherearthgardener.com/plant-profiles/beware-the-dahlia-zmaz15szaeva/

At the end of the article, Yellow Gem is suggested as a cultivar that is particularly good for eating, but when I searched for some to purchase, I found this notice:
https://www.cultivariable.com/product/everything-else/dahlia-yellow-gem/
"Yellow Gem appears to be infected with a dahlia virus, most likely Dahlia Mosaic Virus.  It has tested negative for every other common dahlia virus and DMV is the only one that I cannot test for.  The effect of this virus is pretty minimal, other than causing some yellowing of the leaves, and it is extremely common in dahlias.  The plants still flower well and produce plenty of tubers.  So, it is your call.  If you grow a lot of dahlias and you want to keep them disease free, you should probably not buy this (on the other hand, if you grow a lot of dahlias, you probably already have some that are infected).  If you are just growing a few dahlias for food, it might not matter to you.  I will keep trying to clean up this variety, but DMV is capable of integrating into the host genome, so cleanup may not be possible."

Disappointing. Oh well. The flowers don't really appeal to me, either.  

I can't find any more info on the pink and  purple tuber cultivars mentioned in the article; I may email Dr Weaver to ask about them.
 
Lh Forsythe
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Somewhat OT, but - could daylilies be used as barrier to bermuda grass?
 
Lisa Sture
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I love the energy of flowers, it is really different to say, eating a kale leaf! It is delicate, and I feel the different colours. My absolute favourite edible flower is Evening Primrose. I can eat a bowl of them on their own! They feel quite firm to eat, but not tough, which is nice. I always have a sort of excitement around eating them! I know I'm nuts, but this is Permies lol!

I also like these flowers as each day new flowers open, so there are always more ) The plants are pioneer plants, so will grow in very poor conditions, even unprepared soil amongst the weeds. They are amazing plants.

Screenshot-2022-06-05-at-17.43.35.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot-2022-06-05-at-17.43.35.png]
 
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This link list some edible flowers and provides Latin and common names.

https://wellnessgarden.design/edible-flowers-for-the-wellness-garden/
 
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Love this website and the dailyish ! So much to learn, and sooooo many people willing to share. Thank you!
As for edible flowers...Well.... I'm a sucker for watching them grow, not eating, nor cutting and I grow lots - and perennials only. However, the exception is Rosa rugosa (red and white petals) , that has abundant amount of flowers which I pick, grind in a special ceramic bowl with grooves (by hand, can't use blenders/mixers, in the "old way" ) and make preserves to sweeten deserts. Link below borrowed from a website

https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/rugosa-rose
Rosa-Rugosa-petals.JPG
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Rosa-Rugosa-white-petals.JPG
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Makutra-Special-bowl-for-grinding.JPG
[Thumbnail for Makutra-Special-bowl-for-grinding.JPG]
4-jars-of-wild-rose-condiment-125-ml-each.JPG
[Thumbnail for 4-jars-of-wild-rose-condiment-125-ml-each.JPG]
 
Mk Neal
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Radish flowers: great garnish, my kids even eat them.
20220717_182036.jpg
Miso soup with radish flowers
Miso soup with radish flowers
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