Are edible flowers a new craze?

Are edible flowers a new craze?

Absolutely not! Archaeological evidence has shown us that Stone Age Man was munching rose petals, and through the centuries edible flowers have been used in soups, pies and stir fries worldwide. In fact, many of the familiar flowers that we choose to grow in our gardens today were originally cultivated and nurtured in people's gardens for their aromatic and taste qualities as opposed to their visual ones. 

Here are some fun uses for edible flowers

  • Make ice cubes for your summer cocktails with edible flower petals frozen inside
  • Lollypops look fantastic with a colourful flower within
  • Use edible flowers to decorate summer cocktails and drinks to wow your guests
  • Edible flower petals scattered over a cake make a stunning decoration
  • Use to brighten up and enhance salads
  • You can flavour soups and casseroles
  • Courgette flowers that are large enough can be filled with cheese and fried for a crunchy starter

So which flowers are considered edible and are safe to eat?

Flowers that are not poisonous and are known not to cause reactions are safe to eat. It is advised that people with hay fever, asthma or other allergies do not eat edible flowers. Many flowers have look likes that are easy to confuse, so you must be sure that the ones that you will be eating are edible. Flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides should be avoided and remember, not all edible flowers are pleasant to eat. You will have to do some research before you dive into the delights of edible flowers, there are plenty of books that you can pick up at local garden centres and there you will find employees that may be knowledgeable and be able to assist you.

Here is a small list of some of the most commonly used annual edible flowers

These are all easy to grow and look after annual flowers that you could easily add to your garden if you'd like to try and indulge in eating edible flowers.

  • African Marigold or Calendula pot marigold
  • Nasturtium 
  • Pansy/Viola
  • Petunia
  • Snapdragon
  • Tuberous begonias
  • Scented geranium
  • Squash
  • Radish
  • Garland chrysanthemum

There are many other plants with edible flowers

It is not only flowers from annuals that are edible. Flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and some bulbs all produce edible flowers. Some flowers are entirely edible whilst some others can only be used for their petals such as tulips and roses. Flowering herbs are usually safe to eat and their flowers tend to have a lighter taste than the plant's leaves that we usually use.lar

Learn more about edible flowers before you begin munching your way through the garden

Before you begin to amaze your family and friends with colourful plates and drinks, you must make sure that you have read up, and are sure of what you are doing. Some parts of edible flowers like bases, stamens and styles may need to be removed. Local garden centres will be able to help and advise you on which annuals could be planted and enjoyed by you and your family this summer and you may find interesting books in their gift shops.

By Garden Centre Guide - mobile