15 Edible Flowers That Do More For Your Recipes Than Just Look Pretty

Edible flowers bring more than just visual charm to your kitchen; they add distinctive flavors, textures, and a touch of elegance to your dishes. Let’s explore some of the best edible flowers to can enhance your recipes in unexpected and delightful ways. From the peppery kick of nasturtiums to the subtle sweetness of violets, these flowers will inspire you to experiment in the kitchen.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtiums.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Nasturtiums are vibrant and versatile, with their vivid blossoms adding both color and a peppery zest to dishes. The entire plant is edible, and its bright red, orange, or yellow flowers are often used to garnish salads, soups, and appetizers. The leaves are also flavorful and can be used similarly to watercress. Nasturtiums are not only attractive but also act as natural pest repellents, making them a beneficial companion plant in the garden.

Recipe: Nasturtium Salad With Creamy Tahini & Avocado Dressing

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Beautiful calendula flowers in the countryside.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Calendula, often called pot marigold, is known for its bright orange and yellow petals. These petals have a slightly tangy and peppery flavor, making them a colorful addition to salads, rice dishes, and soups. The petals can also be dried and used as a saffron substitute. Calendula is renowned for its medicinal properties, commonly used in creams and teas for its soothing and healing effects.

Recipe: Make your own healing calendula + lavender salve (with no special equipment)

Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana)

Pansy flower.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Pansies are a gardener’s favorite due to their wide range of colors and patterns. These charming flowers have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that complements salads, desserts, and beverages. Pansies can be candied to decorate cakes and pastries, adding a touch of elegance. Their cheerful appearance makes them a delightful edible decoration for any culinary creation.

Recipe: Black Pansy Jelly

Chive Blossoms (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Chive blossoms are small, spherical clusters of purple flowers with a delicate onion flavor. These blossoms can be separated into individual florets and sprinkled over salads, soups, and savory dishes to add a mild oniony taste. The flowers can also be infused in vinegar to create a flavorful chive blossom vinegar, perfect for salad dressings and marinades.

Recipe: Chive Blossom Vinegar Recipe

Borage (Borago officinalis)

Borage flowers with raindrops.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Borage is easily recognizable by its striking blue star-shaped flowers. These flowers have a fresh, cucumber-like taste, making them a refreshing addition to salads, cold drinks, and cocktails. Borage blossoms are often frozen in ice cubes to add a decorative and flavorful touch to beverages. The plant also attracts pollinators, making it a valuable addition to any garden.

Recipe: Borage Leaf, Pea and Garden Mint Soup

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee balm.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Bee balm, also known as wild bergamot, produces vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers with a distinct minty flavor. These flowers can be used to add a unique twist to teas, salads, and desserts. Bee balm is also known for its medicinal properties, often used in herbal teas to relieve colds and digestive issues. The plant is a favorite among bees and butterflies, enhancing the biodiversity of your garden.

Recipe: Bee Balm Jelly

Dianthus (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Dianthus flowers.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Dianthus, commonly known as pinks, features frilly petals with a spicy, clove-like flavor. These flowers can be used to garnish cakes, cookies, and fruit salads, adding both beauty and a hint of spice. The petals can also be crystallized to create decorative edible flowers. Dianthus is appreciated for its long-lasting blooms and delightful fragrance, making it a charming addition to both gardens and dishes.

Recipe: Dianthus Huckleberry Blintzes

Squash Blossoms (Cucurbita pepo)

Squash flowers.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Squash blossoms are the edible flowers of various squash plants, including zucchini. These large, yellow flowers have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and are often used in culinary dishes. They can be stuffed with cheese, herbs, and other fillings, then fried to create a delicious appetizer. Squash blossoms can also be used in soups, quesadillas, and pasta dishes, offering a unique texture and flavor.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Tart

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender flower in a garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Lavender is famous for its aromatic purple flowers, which have a sweet, floral flavor with hints of citrus. These flowers are used to flavor baked goods, desserts, and beverages, such as lavender lemonade or tea. Lavender can also be used in savory dishes, like roasted meats or vegetables, to add a unique and fragrant touch. Beyond its culinary uses, lavender is cherished for its calming and soothing properties.

Recipe: Lavender Lemon Bars

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hibiscus.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Hibiscus flowers are known for their striking red color and tart, cranberry-like flavor. They are commonly used to make hibiscus tea, which is enjoyed both hot and cold for its refreshing taste and health benefits. Hibiscus can also be added to salads, jams, and desserts, providing a vibrant color and tangy flavor. The flowers are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.

Recipe: Iced Hibiscus Tea – Agua de Jamáica

Roses (Rosa spp.)

Roses.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Roses are not only beautiful but also edible, with petals that range in flavor from sweet to slightly spicy, depending on the variety. Rose petals can be used to make rose water, jams, jellies, and syrups. They are also popular for decorating cakes, pastries, and desserts, adding a touch of elegance and fragrance. Roses are celebrated for their therapeutic properties and are often used in skincare products for their soothing effects.

Recipe: Rose Petal Ice Cream

Violets (Viola odorata)

Violet flower.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Violets are delicate flowers with a sweet, floral flavor. They are perfect for decorating desserts, adding to salads, or making violet syrup. Violets can also be candied to create beautiful edible decorations for cakes and pastries. The flowers are known for their calming properties and are often used in herbal remedies and teas to soothe the nervous system.

Recipe: Cooking With Sweet And Wild Woodland Violets

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

A field of chamomile herbal plant.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Chamomile flowers resemble tiny daisies and have a mild apple-like flavor. These flowers are best known for their use in chamomile tea, which is enjoyed for its soothing and calming effects. Chamomile can also be used to flavor desserts, syrups, and even savory dishes. The flowers are prized for their anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits, making them a popular choice in herbal medicine.

Recipe: Chamomile Iced Latte with Vanilla

Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.)

Daylily.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Daylilies produce large, trumpet-shaped flowers in various colors, each with a mildly sweet and slightly peppery taste. The petals, buds, and tubers are all edible and can be used in a variety of dishes. Daylily petals can be added to salads, stir-fries, and soups, while the buds are often sautéed or steamed. Daylilies are not only tasty but also add a striking visual element to any meal.

Recipe: Daylily Flower Fritters

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflowers.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Sunflowers are known for their tall stature and bright yellow blooms, which can reach impressive heights. These cheerful flowers are not only visually stunning but also offer a variety of edible parts. The petals have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and can be used to garnish salads, desserts, and beverages. The seeds are perhaps the most well-known edible part of the sunflower, packed with nutrients and often enjoyed roasted and salted as a snack. Sunflower buds can be steamed or sautéed similarly to artichokes, providing a unique and nutritious addition to your meals.

Sunflower sprouts and shoots are tender and delicious, adding a crunchy texture to salads and sandwiches. Beyond their culinary uses, sunflowers are admired for their ability to attract pollinators and their role in improving soil health.

Recipe: Grilled Sunflower with Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe

Flowers That Attract Bees & Pollinators

Bees.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Learn More: 15 Flowers That Will Attract Bees and Boost Pollination

Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Learn More: 10 Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds (With a Homemade Nectar Recipe)

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