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Edible Flowers

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Decorating your foods with edible flowers can turn a plain looking meal into a spectacularly beautiful visual feast. When our campus is open, each morning in the Hollyhock kitchen the gardeners arrive with a basket of freshly picked edible flowers to add beauty to the day’s meals. Spring yields tulips, pansies, and daylilies. High summer is a bounty of hollyhocks, dahlias, and sunflowers. Adding sunny, yellow calendula petals and rich purple borage flowers to a green salad adds bright contrasting colours while remaining mild in taste. Lining a sweet cake or tort with fresh rose petals, lilac, or lavender blossoms will add a strong floral fragrance and flavour to a dessert.

You will be pleasantly surprised to find that many flowers are edible, however not all of them taste good. The following list is of flowers that are both edible and palatable. Use the petals only.

Hollyhock’s Edible Flower List

Savoury Herbs

  • Basil
  • Bee balm
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Garlic chives
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemon verbena
  • Mustard
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron crocus (do not confuse with poisonous fall crocus)
  • Sage
  • Sweet woodruff
  • Thyme

Mild Herbs

  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Cattail
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Clover, red
  • Danilion
  • Elder flower
  • Hawthorn
  • Hibiscus
  • Mallow
  • Mullein
  • Passionflower
  • Safflower
  • Salad burney
  • Yarrow
  • Yucca

Sweetly Floral

  • Acacia
  • Apple blossom
  • Carnation or pink. Use smaller, fragrant clove pinks or cottage pinks.
  • Columbine
  • Day lily
  • Geranium
  • Honeysuckle
  • Jasmine. Do not confuse edible jasmine with poisonous Caroline Jessamine
  • Lemon blossom
  • Lemon geranium
  • Lilac
  • Orange blossom
  • Pepermint geranium
  • Petunia
  • Plum blossom
  • Rose
  • Rose geranium
  • Violet

Mild Floral

  • Bachelor’s buttons
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cowslip
  • Daisy
  • Dahlias
  • Gladiolus
  • Hollyhock
  • Johnny-jump-up
  • Pansy
  • Peony – can be bitter
  • Poppy – use only poppy petals
  • Primrosee
  • Sunflower
  • Squash blossom
  • Thistle
  • Tulip
  • Viola
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Feature Photo Credit: Anastasia Avvakumova
Read more about this edible flower list in Hollyhock Cooks, page 205-208.

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