What Flowers Can You Eat?

— Written By Marcus McFarland
en Español / em Português

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When we see flowers, we usually use our sight and our smell to enjoy their beauty. But did you know we can also use another sense with flowers? The sense I’m talking about is taste! Not only can flowers be a great addition to a garden or a centerpiece in your room, some are edible and add wonderful flavor and color to a dish. According to our friends at Penn State Extension, edible flowers can sometimes be purchased at the local grocers and will be in a box container. However, flower bouquets or flowers from plant nurseries or garden centers, should be avoided for fear of potential pesticides used. Another great way to enjoy edible flowers can be from what you plant in a garden. Popular edible flowers include peppery nasturtium, floral chamomile for tea, onion-tasting chive flowers, and honey-tasting early dandelions. While there’s a lot of encouragement to eat these yummy treats, it’s also important to be careful which flowers are safe to eat and about prepping edible flowers before eating them. For folks with allergies it’s important to remove the stamens and pistils, which contain the pollen. Also, make sure the flowers are free of debris and insects by using a paint or makeup brush.

Yellow/Orange Flower with Green Leaves

Nasturtiums are a flower that can be eaten. It gives off a peppery taste.

If you’re using them later store them in a refrigerator in a plastic container to prevent being smashed. For more information about flowers check out our NC State Extension’s “Choosing and Using Edible Flowers Guide” or contact our extension office for more information.


“Edible flowers” – University of Minnesota Extension

“A Consumer’s Guide to Edible Flowers” – Penn State Extension