Edible Flowers
With Recipes from “A Woman’s Garden” by Tanya Anderson

Published On: July 21, 2021Categories: Cooking, Farming
a collection of violets

I once vowed that the only things that had a place in the gardens of my future home, would be edible. I wanted a “Willy Wonka” feel to the place, everything must be edible, there was no room for the frivolous, or solely ‘pretty’. Well, turns out I also really like flowers too. What can I say, they bring me joy?!

The interesting thing about this however, is I can have my cake (flowers) and eat them too! Enter; the edible flower. Did you know you can eat some flowers? I’ll be honest, I hardly had a grasp on the wide variety of flowers that are edible.

So how do you tell which flowers are edible and which are not?

Quite simply, you need to do a bit of research. Sometimes just the petals are edible, sometimes the entire plant is edible including the roots! So you just need to be certain you know what you’re taking in before you do.

It should also be noted, that much of this depends on your source. For example, commercially grown cut and plant flowers are heavily treated with chemicals to keep them fresh and looking pretty. Therefore, you should never eat commercially grown flowers unless you know they are from an organic grower.

It’s much safer to grow or harvest these flowers yourself or buy from a well known organic farmer (like Oak & Ash!). I have gone as far as to organize my flower gardens by edibleness and I even have a separate one for tea! Here are are some of my favorites.

Herb Flowers

Chive blossoms, sage flowers, oregano, you name it, these flowers are beautiful and lend unique flavor to everything, with a hint of the herb it comes from.

Violets & Pansies

Made into syrup, sugared and added to cakes or mixed into drinks or anything savory, these yummy tender little flowers are light and refreshing.

Violet Flower Syrup
6 Delicious Desserts Featuring Edible Pansies

Cucurbit Flowers

Cucumbers, squash and even watermelon are all members of the cucurbit family that produce tender yellow flowers. Large flowers like squash or pumpkin blossoms are incredible stuffed with creamy cheese and fried, and tender small ones are perfect to throw into a stir fry.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Ricotta
Arugula Salad with Squash Blossoms


Flowers and leaves add a peppery flavor to everything and even the seed pods can be pickled to make a sort of caper alternative.

10 Best Nasturtium Recipes
Nasturtium Capers


Not just great for pollinators, and deterring pests from crops, they are also used as a dye. Very peppery and bright, marigolds are perfect on salads.

Tortellini in Marigold Broth
Marigold Jelly

Flowered Arugula & Brassicas

I frequently let my arugula go to seed on purpose. The flowers they produce hold all the sharp peppery flavor of the leaves, and a nice contract in salads. Also brassicas like kale, mustard greens and even radishes, produce delicious flowers and edible seed pods.

Bacon Arugula Blossom Potato Salad 

Pea Shoots & Flowers

All the sweet flavor of peas only more tender, both the shoots and flowers from peas are edible. I often top my avocado toast and eggs with shoots, or add them to stir fries.

Stir Fried Pea Shoots

Wood sorrel

Wood sorrel and it’s sunny little flowers are lemony and tart, a smaller, clover shaped version of the cultivated version.

Sorrel Soup, French Style

Day Lilies, Echinacea & Daisies

The petals and roots of the day lily are edible. Dipped in batter and fried, the petals are delicious and the tubers can be boiled like potatoes.

Daisy flower buds and petals are edible and I love adding them to salads or sandwiches.

Echinacea is often dried and brewed for tea. The petals and leaves and the root can all be used.

 Daylily Flower Fritters
Daylily Lo Mein
Echinacea Tea


Borage is such a fun flower! It’s leaves are a bit furry but underneath they offer a light cucumber flavor that’s perfect for salads before cucumbers actually come into season. The flower itself is also edible and delicious, offering an even lighter cucumber flavor.

Borage Lemonade


A member of the same family as marigolds (along with sunflowers), calendula is most widely used for skin care. It’s incredibly mild and Tanya of Lovely Greens has a myriad of skin care recipes including them and even wrote an entire guide on the subject! They can also be made into teas and tincture or infused into oils, lending their light yellow color wherever they go. O if you’re like Tanya, made into…

Calendula and Honey Funnel Cakes !
Calendula Infused Oil

Anise Hyssop

I just became introduced to anise hyssop 2 years ago when Matt mentioned we should plant it because it was good for pollinators. While it grew last year it’s finally come into its own this year and oh my is incredible! The flavor has been described as, “is known for its sweet, lemon-like flavor mixed with licorice and mint notes.” (specialtyproduce.com) I haven’t experimented with it yet, but I certainly can’t wait to try it now.

Anise Hyssop Whoopie Pies
Iced Chocolate and Anise Hyssop
Flower and Herb Butter


Roses are not just beautiful, they are incredibly delicious! Petals and the base of the flower, called the ‘hip’ are commonly used in desserts and to make teas. I often add a combination of lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, mint and roses in my fresh tea boxes I make for my CSA members. It’s delicious warm or iced with so many subtle, sweet and floral flavors.

Rose Sangria
Great British Chefs Rose Recipes

So there you have it! Now there are many more varieties here but these are the ones I myself am most familiar with. For more information check out the following books on the Subject:

However, your best source for more on not just edible flowers, but all things plants including culinary herb gardens, flower gardens, veg patches, gardens for crafts and skincare and so. Much. MORE is Tanya Anderson’s new book, “A Woman’s Garden.”

I wrote this blog post to help highlight this truly incredible book. It’s such a beautiful and comprehensive guide for women to create the garden spaces that speak to them and bring them the most joy. She highlights not just her own garden, but many other women from around the globe. Recipes, how-tos, galleries, this book has something for every woman. Tanya, it is a treasure, thank you for making it!

I worked with Tanya to create this video for her Edible Flower Frittata & 3 Mint Mojito (with floral ice cubes). I used nearly all of the flowers I mentioned above and I still can’t get over how incredibly delicious it was! I often include a collection of edible flowers in our CSA boxes each week, and now I can recommend this recipe to help them get the most out of it. Paired with a light and refreshing mojito featuring a combination of mints, it’s a perfect brunch menu to help celebrate the riotous colors and abundance of Summer.

Thanks for taking a trip through my gardens with me and as always,

Cheers, Prost, Slainte Mhath!


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