Recipe Sifter

  • Start Here
    • Course
    • Main Ingredient
    • Cuisine
    • Preparation
    • Occasion
    • Diet
    • Nutrition

Select () or exclude () categories to narrow your recipe search.


As you select categories, the number of matching recipes will update.

Make some selections to begin narrowing your results.
  • Calories
  • Amount per serving
    1. Total Fat
    2. Saturated Fat
    3. Polyunsat. Fat
    4. Monounsat. Fat
    5. Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Total Carbohydrates
    1. Dietary Fiber
    2. Sugars
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Find exactly what you're looking for with the web's most powerful recipe filtering tool.

    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Gardening, Herbs, Spices and More / The 10 Commandments of Edible Flowers
    Lost? Site Map

    The 10 Commandments of Edible Flowers

    Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:47 pm Groupie
    Hi all!

    Thought I would share this interesting and informative list of Edible Organic Flowers (with Botanical Names) .

    Taken from the book 'Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate' by Cathy Wilkinson Barash.

    icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif Becky


    Anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum Licorice
    Apple Malus spp. Floral
    Arugula Eruca vesicaria sativa Peppery
    Banana Musa spp. Sweet
    Basil Ocimum basilicum Herbal
    Bee balm Monarda didyma Spicy/sweet
    Borage Borago officinalis Cucumber
    Broccoli Brassica oleracea, Botrytis group Spicy
    Calendula Calendula officinalis Slightly bitter
    Canary creeper Tropaeolum peregrinum Peppery
    Chamomile Anthemis nobilis Apple
    Chicory Cichorium intybus Slightly bitter
    Chives Allium schoenoprasum Oniony
    Chrysanthemum Dendranthema grandiflorum Mild to slightly bitter
    Coriander (Cilantro) Coriandrum sativum Herbal
    Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Sweet-slightly bitter
    Daylily Hemerocallis spp. Sweet to vegetal
    Dianthus Dianthus caryophyllus Sweet, clove
    Dill Anethum graveolens Herbal
    Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Sweet
    English daisy Bellis perennis Slightly bitter
    Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Herbal
    Garlic chives Allium tuberosum Garlicky
    Hibiscus Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Mild citrus
    Hollyhock Alcea rosea Mild nutty
    Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica Sweet floral
    Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Strong herbal
    Japanese plum Prunus �Mume� Sweet almond
    Jasmine Jasminum sambac & J. officinale Sweet floral
    Johnny-jump-up Viola tricolor Slightly minty
    Kale Brassica oleracea, Acephala group Spicy
    Lavender Lavandula spp. Strong floral
    Lemon Citrus limon Sweet citrus
    Lemon verbena Aloysia triphylla Sweet citrus
    Lilac Syringa spp. Floral
    Linden Tilia spp. Sweet
    Marjoram Origanum vulgare Herbal
    Mint Mentha spp. Minty
    Mustard Brassica juncea Spicy
    Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus Peppery
    Nodding onion Allium cernuum Oniony
    Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens Sweet cranberry
    Okra Abelmoschus aesculentus Mild, sweet
    Orange Citrus sinensis Sweet citrus
    Oregano Origanum spp. Herbal
    Pansy Viola x wittrockiana Slight minty
    Pea Pisum sativum Pea-like
    Pineapple guava Feijoa sellowiana Sweet tropical
    Pineapple sage Salvia elegans Spicy sweet
    Radish Raphanus sativus Peppery
    Red clover Trifolium pratense Sweet
    Redbud Cercis canadensis Pea-like
    Rose Rosa spp. Floral
    Rose of Sharon Hibiscus syriacus Mild
    Roselle Hibiscus sabdariffa Mild citrus
    Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Herbal
    Runner bean Phaseolus coccineus Bean-like
    Safflower Carthamus tinctorius Bitter
    Sage Salvia officinalis Herbal
    Scented geranium Pelargonium spp. Floral
    Shungiku Chrysanthemum coronarium Slightly bitter
    Signet marigold Tagetes signata (T. tenuifolia) Citrusy tarragon
    Society garlic Tulbaghia violacea Sweet garlicky
    Squash Curcubita pepo spp. Vegetal
    Summer savory Satureja hortensis Herbal
    Sunflower Helianthus annuus Bittersweet
    Sweet woodruff Galium odoratum Fresh, sweet
    Thyme Thymus spp. Herbal
    Tuberous begonia Begonia x tuberhybrida Citrus
    Tulip Tulipa spp. Bean- or pea-like
    Violet Viola odorata Sweet floral
    Winter savory Satureja montana Herbal
    Yucca Yucca spp. Sweet (must be cooked)



    1. Eat only those flowers you can positively identify as safe and edible. Learn the Latin or botanical names, which are universally accepted (common names may vary from region to region).

    2. Do not assume that restaurants and caterers always know which flowers are edible. Just
    because it is on your plate does not mean it is edible (see Rule #1).

    3. Eat only those flowers that have been grown organically.

    4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, garden centers or public gardens (see Rule #3).

    5. Do not eat flowers if you have hay fever, asthma or allergies.

    6. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of heavily trafficked roads.

    7. Eat only the petals of flowers; always remove and discard the pistils and stamens before eating. (Except for the tiny flowers like thyme where it would be like performing microsurgery to remove the pistils and stamens.)

    8. Not all sweet-smelling flowers are edible; some are poisonous.

    9. Eat only the flowers of the recommended plants; other parts may be toxic or inedible, even
    though the flower may be delicious.

    10. Gradually introduce flowers into your diet - one at a time and in small quantities, the way you would new food to a baby.
    Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:10 am
    Forum Host
    Great advice! icon_smile.gif
    French Tart
    Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:11 pm
    Forum Host
    Very good info by that author Becky - sounds like a nice book! Hannah my daughter bought me a new edible flower cookbook for British Mother's Day this year........yesterday!
    Thanks for posting!

    Here are a few more notes that I adhere to strictly!


    Never use non-edible flowers as a garnish as they may get eaten by accident.

    People who suffer from allergies should be on alert for possible allergic reaction. Only eat a very small amount initially.

    Use flowers sparingly in your recipes, as too much can lead to digestive problems.

    Never use flowers bought from a florist or other outlet as these will probably have been sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals

    Avoid using flowers picked from the roadside as these may have been sprayed subjected to high carbon monoxide levels.

    Do not use lilies from the Lillium family as these are poisonous.

    And a list from a British site for those who live across the pond! Taken from

    Types of Edible Flowers:

    Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) All parts of these plants are edible. The flowers tend to be stronger flavoured than the leaves. Suitable for salads, in egg dishes such as omelettes and in soups.

    Chive - Mild onion flavour. Suitable for salads, in egg dishes such as omelettes and in soups.

    Garlic - Milder flavour than garlic cloves. Suitable for salads

    Angelica - Celery/liquorice flavour. Suitable for salads and fish dishes.

    Anise Hyssop - Delicate liquorice flavour.

    Arugula - See rocket

    Banana Blossoms - Also know as Banana Hearts. Banana blossoms can be cooked or eaten raw and are used in some Asian cuisines.

    Basil - A milder flavour than the leaves. Suitable for salads and pasta dishes.

    Bergamot - Milder than the leaves - savoury/fruity flavour . Suitable for salads, rice, pork and pasta dishes.

    Borage and Burnet - Cucumber taste. Suitable for cold soups, sorbets and drinks such as punch, gin & tonic, iced teas.

    Calendula - Also known as Marigolds. Flavour similar to saffron but more pungent and sometimes bitter or peppery. Suitable for many dishes including meats, poultry, eggs, pasta, rice and salads. Adds colour to liquids such as milk.

    Carnations/Dianthus - Sweetish spice flavour. Suitable for desserts and salads.

    Chamomile - Sweet appley Flavour. Often used to make tea.

    Chervil - Anise flavour. Suitable for fish dishes.

    Chrysanthemums - Slightly bitter, peppery flavour. Suitable for salads and infusions. Blanch petals before use.

    Citrus Flowers (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit) Use sparingly for a citrus flavour.

    Coriander also known as Cilantro. Similar flavour to the leaves. Suitable for salads, vegetables, pulses, grains.

    Cornflower - Slightly sweet clove-like flavour. Suitable as a garnish.

    Courgette - see SQUASH
    Day Lilies (Hemerocallis) - Slightly sweet flavour. Suitable for desserts and for stuffing or deep frying. NB: Do not eat other types of lilies (Lillium) as they are poisonous . If in doubt - leave it out.

    Dill - Stronger flavour than the leaves. Use as the herb. Suitable for seafood and dressings.

    Elderberry - Sweet flavour. Do not wash as this removes the flavour. Check for insects before use. NB Other parts of this plant are poisonous except the fruit. Do not eat any part of the flower stems.

    Fennel - Mild aniseed flavour. Use as the herb. Suitable for desserts and garnish.

    Gladiolus - Very bland flavour. Suitable for sweet and savoury stuffings (remove the anthers) and individual petals in salads.

    Hibiscus - Citrus flavour. Suitable for use in salads or as a garnish. Use sparingly.

    Honeysuckle - Sweet honey flavour. Suitable as a garnish for desserts and salads. NB. The berries are highly poisonous so never eat them.

    Jasmine - Very fragrant. Suitable for tea and scenting rice dishes.

    Lavender (flowers only) - Sweet flavour. Suitable as a garnish, in savoury dishes such as stews and desserts such as custards and ices.

    Lilac - Highly floral, slightly bitter lemony flavour. Suitable for salads.

    Marjoram - Milder flavour than the herb. Use as the herb.

    Mint - Minty flavour. Use as the herb particularly in marinades and dressings. Use sparingly.

    Nasturtiums - Sweet, peppery flavour. Suitable for stuffing. Leaves are also edible lend a peppery taste to salads or in sandwiches. Seed pods can be pickled as used as a substitute for capers. All in all a very useful culinary plant.

    Oregano - Mild version of plant's leaf. Use like the herb.

    Rocket - Also known as Arugla. Taste similar to the leaves so can be used in the same way especially in salads.

    Rosemary - Milder version of the herb. Use as the herb especially good with h meats and seafood.

    Roses - The flavours depends on type and colour, but generally fruity. All roses are edible. Suitable for garnishing desserts and salads and excellent in syrups and jellies.

    Sage - Flowers have a milder flavour than the leaves. Suitable for use in salads, bean and vegetable dishes and as a garnish for pork dishes.

    Squash - Many Squash and courgette flowers are edible . Remove the pistols before using. Excellent stuffed and deep fried in a light batter. NB If you grow your own, try using the male flowers first so it doesn't interfere with your vegetable cropping. Pick before fully opened.

    Sunflower - Bitter-sweet flavour. Use like chrysanthemums. Can also be picked before the flower bud opens and steamed when they are reminiscent of artichokes.

    Thyme - Milder than the leaves. Use as you would the herb and in salads, rice and pasta dishes.

    Violets, violas, pansies - Sweet, fragrant flavour. Suitable for use whole in salads, desserts and drinks. Excellent crystallised. Leaves are also edible when steams or boiled.

    General Uses for edible Flowers

    As an edible garnish or decoration
    Edible flowers can be used to garnish salads, desserts and drinks. Crystallized flowers can be used to decorate cakes and confectionary.

    Adding Colour and flavour
    Marigolds (calendula) in particular can add both colour and flavour to dishes using eggs, rice and milk. Soak the petals in warm milk (twice the amount of milk to petals) which can then be used in cakes, breads and desserts to liven up the colour. Many flowers can be used to flavour oils, dressings and marinades and in salads, adding both flavour and colour.

    Stuffing and Cooking
    Courgette flowers are excellent when stuffed as are gladioli and day lily(Hemerocallis) flowers, although the latter two are used more for their look rather than taste. Courgette flowers are also excellent batter and deep fried.

    Flowers have been eaten for thousands of years. They have been used for many years in Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines and are known to have been cooked by the ancient Romans. In Europe early writings have included the account of a medieval feast where venison was cooked with marigolds and salads made with violets.

    When used with care, they can add a new dimension to recipes both for flavour and aesthetically. However, although many flowers are edible, as some are poisonous, it's best to stick to the one's you know are ok and to that end, we have included a chart below listing the safe ones. In general, the flowers of vegetables and herbs are safe to eat.

    How to Buy or Harvest, Prepare and Store Flowers For Eating

    Buying Flowers for cooking

    Unfortunately it's impossible to tell whether ordinary cut flowers bought from florists and other outlets have been sprayed with chemicals. Most likely they have been, so it's best not to use them for culinary purposes. However, if you can't grow your own, help is at hand as there are companies on the internet who sell flower petals specifically for use in cooking. Just search for "buy edible flowers".

    Harvesting, preparing and storing flowers
    Only pick flowers for culinary use which you know haven't been sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals.

    It's best to pick flowers just before you want to use them and when they are just opened, then wash carefully in cold water. Adding a little salt to the water will help get rid of any insects. Once well washed, carefully pat dry on kitchen paper or allow them dry naturally at room temperature. They can then be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag until ready to use but preferably not longer than 3 days.

    In general the petals are the edible part of flowers, not the centre of the flower so you should detach the petals and cut off the white heel at their bases as this tends to be bitter. The pistil and stamen should also be removed, especially from larger flowers. Do not pull the petals off until you are ready to use them. Exceptions to this are large flowers which are going to be stuffed and smaller flowers such as violas which can be eaten whole.

    Once naturally dry, edible flowers can also can be fully dried or frozen, although the texture will change, so they are best used for infusions or in cooked dishes.
    Sat May 01, 2010 4:03 pm Groupie
    Here's my Edible Flowers Cookbook!


    Happy cooking, I hope you give cooking with flowers a try!!!

    Smiles icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif Becky
    French Tart
    Sat May 01, 2010 4:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Would you like other chefs with Edible Flowers recipes to post there recipes and books here as well Becky? I can think of some wonderful recipes by some other zaar chefs! icon_wink.gif icon_biggrin.gif
    French Tart
    Sat May 01, 2010 4:56 pm
    Forum Host
    Sat May 01, 2010 5:03 pm Groupie
    Please feel free to post your Cooking with Edible Flowers Cookbooks! icon_lol.gif
    French Tart
    Sat May 01, 2010 5:07 pm
    Forum Host
    BecR wrote:
    Please feel free to post your Cooking with Edible Flowers Cookbooks! icon_lol.gif

    I just posted a link to Rita's cookbooks, she compiled a whole bunch of flower cookbooks by lots of chefs! See above!
    Sat May 01, 2010 6:01 pm Groupie
    Many thanks to Rita for posting those lovely cookbooks, and all in one link, too!!! Great! icon_lol.gif
    Chef #2036775
    Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:37 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:06 am Groupie
    The link above is SPAM!
    Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:44 am
    Forum Host
    BecR wrote:
    The link above is SPAM!

    Reported ~ thanks! I didn't want to pan the whole thread since we want to keep this, so I am letting the admins take care of this.
    Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:06 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Who knew there were so many edible flowers! WOW!
    Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:24 pm Groupie
    Stop sending e-mails when someone replies
    Add this to My Favorite Topics
    Alert us of inappropriate posts

    Free Weekly Newsletter

    Get the latest recipes and tips delivered right to your inbox.

    Your e-mail is safe. Privacy Policy

    Ideas from

    Powered by phpBB 2.0.1 © 2002 phpBB Group

    Over 475,000 Recipes Network of Sites