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Edible Flowers 101

Edible flowers can add color, aroma, flavor (they range from spicy to sweet), and a decided wow factor to your food, but it's important to know for a fact that those you have in mind are nontoxic, not poisonous. Below is a list of some common edible flowers (petals only).

Martha Stewart Living, May 2013

Eat only the petals of edible flowers, and always remove any trace of the pistils and stamen. So your digestive system has a chance to get used to it, introduce flowers into your diet one at a time, in small quantities. And always be sure you like the taste of a flower before adding it to a recipe. Remember, just because a flower is served with food, it is not necessarily edible. 

 

Choose only unsprayed organic flowers, whether they're from your garden or a farmers' market. Avoid commercial flowers from florist shops or supermarkets; they've been sprayed with pesticides. If picking flowers in the wild, avoid those by the roadside, as they may have been sprayed with herbicides or have absorbed car exhaust.

 

Common Edible Flowers

calendula
carnation
chrysanthemum
clover
cornflower
culinary herb flowers, such as basil, borage, chamomile, and chive
dandelion
day lily
dianthus
gardenia
geranium
gladiolus
hibiscus
hollyhock
honeysuckle (caveat: its berries are highly poisonous)
impatiens
lilac
marigold
nasturtium
orchid
pansy and viola
peony
primrose
rose
sunflower
tulip
violet

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