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Are these flowers edible?

18 years ago

Hi, I've got some foodie-event cooking planned this weekend and the requirement is that we use edible flowers (along with a couple other ingredients). I've got a bunch of flowers that are still in bloom (a lot are done already) -- but I'm not sure if all of these are edible -- help, please?

I've got

- chrysanthemum segetum

- alcea rosea

- petunia

- bachelor's buttons

- scarlet runner bean

- snapdragon

- showy evening primrose

- echinacea

- pansies

I guess my main questions are:

are these edible,

*have you actually eaten them* -- and not gotten sick LOL,

and do you have any favorite recipes?

I also have marigolds and a few nastys left and will default to using those if any of the above are not edible.

Comments (5)

  • oldherb
    18 years ago

    I have some experience with some of your plants listed and a great resource in my library that I think everyone should have...Cornacopia II.

    Here's what I found and what I know.

    Chrysanthemum segetum...young shoots are eaten as a salad green (they are probably a bit bitter as are other chyranthemum greens).

    Alcea rosea...the flowers are edible. You can cook the buds...sautee in a bit of butter w/ salt & pepper. Fresh petals can go in salads. The leaves are also edible and used in mid-eastern/Egyptian cooking. You can brew a tea from the flowers as well.

    Petunia x hybrida or the common garden petunia is edible. The flowers are mild tasting and you can use them as a garnish on salads and other stuff (source: Cornicopia II)

    Scarlett Runner bean flowers are edible and quite yummy. I toss them in salads...they look great in a cucumber salad with a creamy dressing. I also toss them on baked potatoes as garnish.

    Antirrhinum majus or the snap dragon is edible though the flavor is not great...remember, edible does not always equal palletable.

    All Pansies are edible

    As far as your showy evening primrose, be careful to eat only plants you are sure of the genus and species as not all species in a genus may be edible. The 2 I found listed in Cornacopia II were: Oenethera bienis and O. hookeri different parts of them listed as edible. O. bienis you can eat the flowers and O. hookeri you can eat the young leaves and shoots in salads or boil them up as greens.

    Echinacea and batchelor far as I can find the flowers are not edible.

  • earthlydelights
    18 years ago

    here's a web link that is real informative about what's edible. good reference souce in a pinch.

    hope this helps, if not this time around, for future events.

    Here is a link that might be useful: edible flowers

  • stefoodie
    Original Author
    18 years ago

    thanks for all your help!

    my menu ended up being quite successful. here's the link if you're interested:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Stefoodie's Paper Chef #9 Entry

  • susan_calgary
    17 years ago

    Check out

    It lists bachelor buttons as edible

  • Daisyduckworth
    17 years ago

    When checking for edible flowers, please make sure you get the latin, botanical name of the plant. Common names are not reliable - as far as I know there are several plants going by the name of Bachelor Buttons. If yours is Centaurea cyanus, cornflower, the flowers are edible. Slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavour. More commonly used as garnish. Avoid eating flower centre and pollen.

    Chrysanthemums are edible, especially Chrysanthemum x morifolium. Taste: Tangy, slightly bitter. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They should be blanched first and then scatter the petals on a salad. Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only.

    Petunia x hybrida is edible - taste is flowery.

    All members of the Viola family are edible - pansies, heartsease, violets etc. Have a slightly sweet wintergreen or grassy flavour. If you eat only the petals, the flavour is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, there is a winter, green overtone. Use them as garnishes, in fruit salads, green salad, desserts or in soups.

    Scarlet Runner bean flowers are edible - taste like nectar with a bean taste.

    Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) - entire plant is edible, including the roots. Taste is bland.

    Snapdragon flowers are edible - Can be bland to bitter. Flavours depend on type, colour, and soil conditions.

    Echinacea is NOT on my list of edible flowers.

    Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) flowers are edible (so are the leaves, root and stem) - Very bland, slightly sweet flavour, somewhat slimy.

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