Edible Flowers

May 28, 2010

Herb flowers make a colourful addition to salads and can also be used to flavour sugars, decorate drinks and crystallized for use on cakes or chocolates.


Please note that anyone with asthma or hay fever is advised not to eat flowers in case of extreme allergies to the pollen.

Most flowers should have their petals separated before consumption and any white ‘heel’ removed (this part is bitter).

You can read more details about what the different flowers taste like at this website:


There is more information and some descriptions here too:

Edible Flowers pdf

Alternatively, look at Jekka McVicar’s book: Good Enough To Eat: Growing Edible Flowers and Cooking with Them which gives lots of recipes.

There is another book by Kathy Brown called Edible Flowers: From Garden To Plate: How To Grow and Cook Edible Flowers. You can see some photos of Kathy’s garden over at Emma’s blog or on Kathy’s own website.

Edible flowers include the following:

Anise hyssop (Agastache anethiodora), basil, bergamot, chive florets - break up and sprinkle - don’t eat a whole head - it will be very strong! Fennel, mint, nasturtiums, borage flowers can be used in summer drinks, green or fruit salads - make sure you take the flower from its backing (very dry texture), also see my previous blog post-Borage Flowers On Ice, elderflower, pot marigold (calendula officinalis), primrose, rose petals, sweet woodruff, salad rocket flowers or flowerbuds - nutty, slightly fragrant. Sweet violets; blue/white - scatter over a salad.

Sweet Woodruff

Flowers suitable for crystallizing are rose petals, violets, blue borage or mint leaves.


Rosemary and lavender buds or scented geranium leaves (lemon and rose particularly) can be used to flavour custards, milk and cream desserts and puddings.

Scented geranium leaves can be placed in the base of a sponge mixture to give a wonderful flavour to the cake.

NB Always make sure you have identified the plant correctly and do not eat in large quantities i.e. just a few flowers/petals in a salad for example or a borage flower in an ice cube in your drink.

This article is based on an excerpt from my Herb Gardening e-book.


I have received a lovely recipe from 11 year old Matty Varney of Southampton (it was sent in by his father who is a subscriber to my ezine). Matty was inspired to create this dish whilst in the middle of their local ramson wood. Once back home Matty wrote the recipe and cooked the delicious soup using the wild garlic leaves gathered.  I tried out the recipe a couple of weeks ago and it is very tasty.  I have reproduced it below and hope you will enjoy it too.

Wild Garlic and Tomato Soup

by Matty Varney

·         2 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder
·         25ml of ketchup
·         1 small leek
·         Wild garlic leaves (a handful of)
·         500ml of hot water
·         440 grams of pomodorino tomatoes
·         1 teaspoon of basil


  1. Measure out the tomatoes (440 grams).
  2. Cut all of the tomatoes in half.
  3. Finely chop a handful of wild garlic leaves.
  4. Then finely chop one small leek.
  5. Then place the slices of leek inside a bowl with the garlic leaves and the teaspoon of basil.
  6. After that fry the tomatoes for 5 minutes face down.
  7. Then in a jug place 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock  powder and add 500ml of hot water.
  8. Once the tomatoes are done pour them in the stock and vegetables and place the mixture inside a wok.
  9. Then squeeze 25ml of ketchup inside the mixture and stir.
  10. Afterwards stir the mixture around again.
  11. Then cook for 25 minutes (on a med’/low heat).
  12. Finally place the mixture in the liquidizer and liquidize until it reaches your preferred consistency. Now, ENJOY!!!


I’m surprised and pleased to be included in this list of the 50 best blogs about herbs. As you will see there are many great herb blogs out there so this list is very handy.

If you’d like to find and read some fascinating herb blogs, why not make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up for a while, and then click the link below.

50 Best Blogs To Learn About Herbalism

Happy reading!