15 Flowers that are edible

Pansy in salad

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15 Flowers which flowers are edible

Flowers are amazing for a variety of reasons, an often forgotten reason is that quite a few are edible. With the world becoming more aware of the choices we make and sustainability. Would it not be great if you could get further use out of a beautiful flower and know which flowers are edible?

Often the petals of a flower are edible.

Yet, as many flowers and plants can be poisonous it is important to know which flowers are edible. Flowers are a wonderful food source and have been for many cultures. They provide a pop of colour and have unusual and untried flavours. The petals can also be beneficial to the body. 

In Roman times roses were used for cooking and for flavouring food. Flowers delight our senses; with their smell, to the touch and of course they are rather pleasant on the eyes! 

So, how to prepare edible flowers?

  • Wash them with care
  • Remove the pistils and stamen
  • Check for bugs and remove all insects (although this is rather trendy nowadays!)


Carnation-FlowersCarnations are lovely when steeped in wine, used in candy or as decoration for a birthday cake. The petals are sweet while the base is bitter, to use in desserts remove the base. Carnations are used in salads or as a garnish for cocktails.



Gladiolus flowerGladiolus has a mild taste, like lettuce, you need to remove the anthers to not ruin the taste. Gladiolus are suitable for sweet or savoury spreads. Toss individual petals in salads. 



HibiscusThe hibiscus has a flavour similar to a cranberry, with a slight citrus taste. The flower can grow as large as 15 centimetres in diameter and are diverse in colour. In South Africa, we find white, orange, yellow and red hibiscus. The petals are quite powerful in flavour. Use sparingly in a salad, as a hibiscus tea, relish or jam.



LilacThe lilac flower is said to vary in flavour, from plant to plant. It has a prominent smell, with bitter undertones. The flavour is lemony and floral. Best used in salads.



RoseAre roses edible? Almost all roses are edible, with the only difference being the flavour. The darker the variety the more pronounced the flavour. As there are so many different roses. Flavours can range from: 

  • Strawberries
  • Green Applies
  • Minty
  • Spicey

They are great in ice creams or desserts. Frozen and then used as ice cubes for water or punches, it goes well with many South African gins. Roses are also used in syrups and in jellies. 



Dandelion FlowerThe dandelion is one of the smaller flowers on this list. A lesser-known fact is that they are highly nutritious. Their blossoms are small, only 2-4 cm in diameter, with many bright petals. Dandelions are rich in antioxidants. Use them raw, and therefore alone or tossed into a salad. Also good fried or in jelly.



Lavender FlowerLavender is a woody, and floral herb. The violet flowers are great as an edible purple flower, they are small and very fragrant. Also great when placed under the front door mat for a burst of smell for all potential visitors. 

The combination of violet colours and aroma make lavender suitable for many dishes. Try using in baked goods, infused syrups, liqueurs and herbal teas. The oil is also great for your skin! 



Honeysuckle FlowerThere are over 200 species of honeysuckle. Yellow or white make up the colour of the blossoms. The nectar is great when eaten straight from the flower – many insects can attest to this.

Great when used in tea, jelly or as a sweet and flavourful syrup.

Read more: How to preserve cut flowers?



Nasturtium FlowerThe nasturtium is a favourite amongst chefs, the flower is bright and presentable. With a unique flavour. It has strong antibiotic properties and can be beneficial for poisonous bites (used alongside medicine).

The flavour is peppery and spicy. Often enjoyed raw or in salads.


10.Squash Blossom

Squash blossom

The lesser-known part of the Zucchini, the squash blossom is in fact edible and tasty. They are often an unused by-product of growing zucchini. The flower is yellow, long and a rounded bell shape. 

Great in salads, raw or as a garnish for salads.



Pansy FlowerThe pansy is as pleasant to look at, as it is in taste. Pansies are edible, the blossoms are small, 5-8 centimetres in diameter. The range of colour is diverse. Most often found in purple, blue and yellow. The petals are great in salads.

When eaten raw, the flowers have a spicy and lettuce-like flavour.



Chamomile FlowerThe chamomile plant is a medicinal plant which happens to also be edible. It has traditionally been used as an extra. It is an incredible dried edible flower as It has the ability to reduce anxiety and improve quality of sleep. You’ve probably consumed it as a tea in the past. Dry the leaves and flowers in order to hand-make some chamomile tea and place in a tea bag. 


13.Sage Flowers

Sage FlowersSage has soft, sweet and beautiful colour. The flowers are multi-dimensional in flavour. It pairs very well with lemon or in a popsicle. As always most of these flowers go well in gin & tonic. 



MarigoldThe marigold is a beautiful orange flower often used to dye clothing in India and for their holy festivals. Highly befitting, considering their incredible colouring. They are best used in salads, teas, stir fries, soups.

Read more: Wedding ideas and wedding decorations



MintMint comes in a wide variety of species, common species include spearmint and peppermint. It has great antioxidant properties. The wonderful green leafy plants grows quite easily and multiple options when consumed It is great for:

  • Cake
  • Cocktails
  • With a lamb dish
  • Mint and watermelon salad
  • In soup

Hopefully, this extensive list of will leave you knowing which flowers are edible. It will serve you well in your pursuit of colourful dishes, powerful antioxidants or if you’d really just like to eat flowers. If you are looking for a florist specialising in corporate flowers, wedding flowers or anything flower related


 Get in touch


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