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Edible Flowers List with Flower Names and Pictures

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In this post, we'll talk about which parts of flowers are edible (such as edible petals), nutrition value, how they taste and how to use them.

The top ten list of edible flowers includes those flowers that are most commonly used and easily identified. For the adventurous eaters, we've also added an edible flower list featuring the names (common and scientific) of over 60 more flowers you can eat. 

edible flowers list and pictures - sunflowers (top left), hibiscus (top right), pansy (bottom left), nasturtium (bottom right)

Edible flowers such as roses can be used fresh or dried. Whether you're nibbling edible petals or cooking up buds, flowers you can eat add fun to any table. They are eye catching, nutritious and delicious.

Some restaurants use edible flowers in place of parsley as garnish and they are sold in the produce isle. We also use flowers for essential oils, medicines, dyes, art, decoration, beneficial insects and skincare.

Some Important Safety Precautions for Using Edible Flowers

  • Not every flower is safe to eat. Make sure you have a positive ID of an edible flower before sampling.
  • Don't harvest edible flowers from roadsides or other contaminated areas such as chemically treated lawns. If an area has heavy animal use, harvest from another area. (Editor's note – I had a reader ask if you can wash off goat pee. I don't recommend trying it.)
  • Try a small edible flower sample before eating a larger quantity. Although rare, allergic reactions are possible.
  • Strongly flavored edible herb flowers are best used sparingly.

Where can I buy edible flowers, edible flower petals or edible rose petals?

If you don't have a green thumb to grow edible flowers, or a safe place to harvest wild ones, you can now buy edible flowers online, including:

Here are our top 10 edible flowers, in no particular order. Enjoy!

edible flowers - sunflowers - two yellow sunflower heads with green leaves against blue sky in background

#1 Sunflowers – genus Helianthus

Sunflowers are great for wild birds and your chicken flock, but they also make good people food, too. Try them on the counter top as microgreens, or add them to your garden for height and visual interest.

There are many different varieties of sunflowers, with different colors and sizes. Look for those that say “oil seed sunflower” if you're most interested in the seeds, and shorter varieties with lots of flowers if you prefer the buds.

Edible Parts: Leaves, Roots, Petals and Seeds.

Nutrition: Sunflowers contain Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Copper, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B3, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein, Fiber

Flavor: When the sunflower is in the bud stage, it tastes similar to artichokes. Once the flower opens, the petal flavor is slightly bitter.

How to Eat Sunflowers

Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a healthy source of fats, protein and fiber. Eat them straight or in seed butter, homemade granola, cereals, sprinkled on salads and more.

Sprouts: Eat sunflower sprouts as a micro-green when they are 1-2″ tall. Toss them in a salad, add to a top of a sandwich, or placed on a grilled piece of fish.

Petals: Sunflower petals add amazing color, but can be a tad bitter. Use them sparingly in cooking.

edible flowers - violets - purple violets with green leaves in grass

#2 – Violets – Viola Odorata

Violets add a bright flash of color to shaded areas of the yard. Their delicate fragrance perfumes the air, and their tender greens make an interesting addition to salads.

Edible Parts: Flowers and Leaves

Nutrition: Violets contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, and Calcium.

Flavor: The flowers have a sweet, perfumed flavor. Leaves are bright and grassy.

How to Eat Violets

Greens: Use violet leaves fresh in salads or cooked like spinach.

Flowers: Use violet flowers fresh to preserve their lovely color and aroma. They can also be made into jellies or candied. Sugared violets make a lovely garnish on top of cakes, muffins or pastries. Get more information on violets and the recipe for violet jelly in Weekly Weeder #23.

edible flowers - dandelions - dandelion blossoms on wooden stump

#3 Dandelions – Taraxacum officinalis

Love them or hate them, most people can easily identify dandelions. They have a rich history of use for both food and medicine.

Their abundant blossoms are a precious food source for pollinators in spring when other food options are limited. When harvesting dandelions, make sure the area has not been treated with herbicides for at least three years.

Edible Parts: Leaves, Seeds, Flower and Root.

Nutrition: Dandelions contain Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Folate, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Vitamin A

“Greens of the humble dandelion provide 535 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain.”

Flavor:  Greens are earthy, nutty and pleasingly bitter. Roots are earthy with rich undertones. The flowers are sweet and crunchy. Dandelion seeds are mildly nutty with a hint of bitterness.

How to Eat Dandelions

Leaves: Dandelion leaves are great in smoothies, salads, sauteed, in pastas, stir-frys, soups and stews

Seeds: Although tough to gather in quantity, the seeds are edible. Nibble them straight out of the garden, or use them to make seed milk.

Flower: Dandelion flowers brighten desserts, pastries, breads, wines, jellies and jams. Dipped in cornmeal and fried, the blossoms taste very similar to mushrooms. We have a recipe for homemade dandelion wine, and cake made with the leftover fruit from the wine on the site.

Root: Dandelion roots are used in tea or roasted to make an herbal coffee substitute.

You can also use dandelions medicinally. See Harvest and Using Dandelion Roots and Weekly Weeder #17 – Common Dandelion for more information.

edible flowers - roses - pink rose and rosebuds with green leaves and brown brick in background

#4 – Roses – genus Rosa

A rose by any other name would still be as sweet. Look for heirloom roses for the best fragrance and flavor. Many of the modern hybrids focus on looks only.

Edible Parts: Rose Petals and Rose Hips.

Nutrition: Rose hips are one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C. Rose hips contain the Carotenoids Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Lycopene. Rose petals also contain vitamin C at lower amounts.

Flavor:  Roses taste sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. If a rose smells good, it will have a good flavor. If the rose does not have a scent, it will taste like nothing.

How to Use Roses

Rose Hips: Use rose hips to make jam, tea, or candy.
Rose Petals: Use Rose Petals to make rose water or teas. Use them for color on salads and cakes.

dry hibiscus herbal tea on plate with teacup on small yellow saucer

#5 – Hibiscus – Hibiscus sabdariffa

Hibiscus adds vibrant color to warm climate landscapes. If you don't have fresh available, use dried flowers to add a tropical twist to foods.

Edible Part: Flower and Root

Nutrition: Hisbiscus is high is Niacin, Fiber, Protein, Amino Acids, Iron, Calcium (source)

Flavor: Cranberry-like flavor with citrus overtones.

How to Use Hibiscus

Use hibiscus in teas, soups, garnishes, water infusions or jelly. Hibiscus flowers may be stuffed  like squash blossoms.

Hibiscus Herbal Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 Tsp Organic Hibiscus
  • 1 Tsp Organic Rosehips
  • 1/2 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 Tsp of Grated Orange Peel

Directions

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over tea. Let steep for 10 mins. Strain and enjoy. Makes 2 cups

edible flowers - pansies - purple pansy with green leaves against dark soil

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet

#6 – Pansy – Viola Tricolor L

Are pansies edible? You bet – and one of the most popular edible flowers. Pansies do best in cooler temps, so enjoy them in your garden in spring and fall.

Edible Parts: Petals and Sepals

Nutrition: Vitamin C, Flavonoids, Resin, Saponin, Violin, Methyl Salicylate and Mucilage (source)

Flavor: Pansies have a slightly sweet green or grassy flavor. If you eat only the petals, the flavor is extremely mild. If you eat the whole flower, it tastes more green.

How to Eat Pansies

Use edible pansies in soups, cocktails, desserts, salads or as a garnish.

edible flower - nasturtiums - orange nasturtium blossom and green nasturtium leaves in background

#7 – Nasturtium – Tropaeolum majus

A healthy nasturtium plant can take over a garden bed, so give them plenty of room to ramble or look for dwarfing varieties that stay more compact. Nasturtiums also make good companion plants in the melon patch.

Edible Parts: Young Leaves, Flowers and Buds

Nutrition: Vitamin C, Iron, Phenols,  Glucosinolates, Mustard Oil, Flavonoids, Carotenoids.

Flavor:  A sweet essence from the nectar, followed by a bold peppery tang.

How to Eat Nasturtiums

Leaves: Make a pesto with young leaves or toss in a salad.

Buds: Use nasturtium buds in vinegar infusions, salads, cocktails. Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers.

Flowers: Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese toppings, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.

pink colored lavender lemonade in glass with lemon sitting next to glass and lemon and lavender garnish

#8 – Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia

Some day I'd like to visit the big fields of lavender, but for now I'm content with the lavender growing in my coastal garden. Lavender likes cool, moist winters and hot, dry summers.

For more information about cultivation and lavender recipes, visit, “Lavender – How to Grow It and Use It for Food, Medicine and More“.

Edible Parts: Leaves and Flowers. Stems can be used in cooking prep and flavoring.

Nutrition: Vitamin A, Calcium,  Phytochemicals, Limonene and Antioxidants.

Flavor:  Sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes.

How To Eat Lavender

Leaves: Finely mince lavender leaves and sprinkle on savory foods for flavor.

Flowers: Try lavender flowers in desserts, jams, cocktails, drinks, breads, meat dishes, garnishes, cheeses.

Stems: The stems of sturdy lavender varieties make great kebab skewers for grilling.

Lavender Fields Forever Recipe

This is a wonderful refreshing adult beverage with floral tones. The beautiful lavender is sure to wow your guest.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce of lemon vodka
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce Lavender Syrup (simple syrup infused with 1 tsp of lavender)
  • 1 drop purple food color
  • fresh lavender sprig
  • 1 Tbsp Culinary grade dried lavender flowers
  • Lemon Slice

Directions
Fill a glass with ice. Pour the vodka, lemon juice and Lavender Syrup. Stir thoroughly. Roll the lemon slice in lavender and garnish glass.

edible flowers - squash blossoms - yellow squash blossom against green leaves, small squash at bottom of photo

#9 – Squash Blossoms – Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita Maxima, Cucurbita moschata

When squash plants start producing blossoms, the first blossoms are always male and won't produce fruit. During the season, more male blossoms are produced than are needed for pollination, so it's safe to harvest some for eating without ruining your crop.

You can recognize male squash blossoms because they do not have a swelling at the base of the flowers. (The swelling is only found on female flowers, which grow into full-sized fruit after pollination.)

Edible Part: All Squash Blossoms

Flavor: Squash blossoms have a mild vegetable flavor-similar to zucchini or yellow squash

Nutrition: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron

How to Eat Squash Blossoms

You can eat squash blossoms: fried, baked, stuffed, in soups, on salads, in pastas, and in casserole dishes.

If your blossoms go crazy and you get overrun, check out “The Best Way to Use up Extra Zucchini” and “Summer Squash Gummy Candy“.

edible flowers - calendula - golden yellow calendula flowers with green leaves and straw in background

# 10 – Calendula – Calendula officinalis

Calendulas are also sometimes known as “English marigolds”, or “marigolds”, but should not be confused with French marigolds, Tagetes patula, which is also commonly called “marigold”. French marigolds are not edible.

Calendula has a long history of medicinal use, treating everything from urinary tract infections to dry skin. For more on the medicinal uses of calendula, see, “Calendula Uses: Our 14 Favorite Recipes and Remedies“.

Edible parts: Petals

Nutrition/Compounds: Sterols, Calendic Acid, Lionleic Acid, Carotenoids, Flavonids, Trirerpenes, and Oleanolic Acid

Flavor: Light, citrus flavor. Flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery.

How to Eat Calendula

Calendulas are sometimes called “poor man's saffron”. Use calendula petals in cakes, pastries, salads, salad dressings, cocktails, custards, and sauces.

Text "Edible Flowers List with Flower Names and Pictures" surrounded by photos of edible flowers

Edible Flower Names, Common and Scientific, from Agrimony to Yucca

The following edible flowers are featured in The Edible Flower Cookbook” by Adrienne Crowhurst. This book was published all the way back in 1973, so the copies in circulation are showing their age, but it's a gem.

Flowers that are featured in the Weekly Weeder series are linked below.

  1. Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)
  2. Golden Alexanders (Ziziz aurea)
  3. Apple Blossoms (Malus species)
  4. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  5. Betony (Stachys palustris)
  6. Borage (Borage officinalis)
  7. Broom (Cytisus scoparius)
  8. Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
  9. Carnation (Dianthus species)
  10. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
  11. Cattail (Typha latifolia)
  12. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
  13. Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
  14. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum species)
  15. Clary (Salvia sclarea)
  16. Clover (Red Clover)
  17. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
  18. Costmary (Chrysanthemum balsmita)
  19. Cowslip (Primula veris)
  20. Daisy (Bellis perennis)
  21. Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
  22. Elder (Sambucus nigra)
  23. Gladiolus (Gladiolus species)
  24. Goat's Beard (Tragpogon pratensis)
  25. Goldenrod (Solidago species)
  26. Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  27. Grape Hyacinth (Muscari atlanticum or Muscari botryoides)
  28. Hawthorne (Crataegus species)
  29. Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
  30. Hollyhock (Althea rosea)
  31. Honeysuckle (Lonicera species)
  32. Hop (Humulus lupulos)
  33. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  34. Jasmine (Jasminum species)
  35. Jonquil (Narcissus jonquilla)
  36. Lemon Blossom (Citrus limonum)
  37. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  38. Linden (Tilia american)
  39. Locust (robina pseudoacacia)
  40. Marsh Marigold (Caltha palutris)
  41. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
  42. Melilot (Melilotus alba)
  43. Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
  44. Milkweed (Ascleias syriaca)
  45. Mimosa (Mimosa pudica)
  46. Motherwort ( Leonurus cardiaca)
  47. Mullien (Verbascum thapsiforme)
  48. Mustard (Brassica species)
  49. Orange Blossom (Citrus species)
  50. Passionflower (Passiflora coerulea)
  51. Peony (Paeoniaceae species)
  52. Plum Blossoms (Prunus species)
  53. Poppies (Papover species)
  54. Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
  55. Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  56. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
  57. Saffron (Crocus sativus)
  58. Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)
  59. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  60. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
  61. Thistle (Circium species)
  62. Thyme (Thymus species)
  63. Tulip (Tulipa species)
  64. Verbena (Verbena species)
  65. Woodruff (Asperula odorata)
  66. Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium)
  67. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  68. Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

There are quite an assortment of newer cookbooks featuring edible flowers, which you can browse below.

Have you tried Edible Flowers?

Do you have a favorite recipe using edible flowers you'd like to share or questions about a specific edible flower? Leave a comment and let us know.

You may also enjoy:

As always, social media shares appreciated if you enjoy the post!

Amber Bradshaw

This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life.

Amber and her family moved from their tiny homestead by the ocean in South Carolina to forty-six acres in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
While building their off-the-grid homestead, they live like the days of old – cooking without electricity, collecting water from the creek and raising chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys, bees, and guineas. They've recently filmed their journey for a TV show on the Discovery Channel and the DIY Network/HGTV called Building Off The Grid: The Smokey Mountain Homestead.

edible flowers list and pictures - roses (top left), violets (top right), calendula (bottom left), dandelions (bottom right)

Originally posted in 2017, updated in 2018.

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15 Comments

  1. What a great article! Very well-written and informative. I never realized some of these are edible, like marigolds and peonies for instance. Thanks for sharing! Now, I am off to wander my neighborhood gardens looking for snacks! 😉

    1. I can’t wait to have all these erotic plants and flowers in my garden to add to my dishes. I’m so intrigued after i read this article.

  2. Hi. I am a member of a public group in Facebook called ‘Halamang Gamot'(medicinal plant). As it was called, many post comments and asks for any tips about certain illnesses, and what herbal medicine could best help them. And most of us in our group cant afford medical consultations. And we believe in herbal medicines.And actually I tried to screenshot some of the details. They are really informative and can really be a big help to them. So, if you don’t mind me allow me to share them to these people…. Thank you and God bless.

  3. Laurie, you mentioned a problem with your eye. You also have said you have psoriasis . I had both….still have the psoriasis but an ophthalmologist discovered i had something called uveitis which is more or less like psoriatic arthritis in your eye as I understood it because it tends to deform your eyeball. She gave me an injection into my eyeball. I have had this twice. The last time must have really took as I’ve not been bothered in quite a few years now.

    I really enjoy your site.

    1. Oh my. That sounds uncomfortable.

      The psoriasis, thankfully, hasn’t bothered me in years. I pulled together everything I did to put it into remission into an ebook called “Psoriasis Healing“.

      My recent eye issues were with excessive floaters, to the point where they were inferring with my vision dramatically. I know I’ve been heavy on screen time working on various projects. I’ve been taking eye supplements, drinking structured water, and making myself take time to look long distances instead of staring at a monitor. It seems to be helping.

      I see the eye doctor on Monday and we’ll see what she sees.

      I’m glad you enjoy the site.

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