- Eat flowers
only when you are positive they are edible. Ensure
that you have positively identified the plant –
including the variety. The safest way is by using
Botanical (ie. Latin) names. Not all flowers are
edible. Some simply taste bad, some are poisonous.
- Make sure that it’s clear
to children that some flowers are edible and others
can make them sick.
- Birds & animals may be unharmed
by plants that are harmful to humans – do
not use your dog or (the actual) guinea pig to test
- Just because a flower is served
with food does not mean it is edible. Never use
any flower as a garnish if you are not sure if it
is edible. Heating or cooking in water removes many
toxins, but not all.
- Because a plant does not make
you sick to your stomach or cause your heart to
race, or cause a rash it doesn’t mean that
it is safe. Some toxic reactions take time, and
there are some plants that have chemicals that may
be dangerous to particular people or conditions
e.g. pregnant women or someone with heart or blood
- Eat only flowers that have been
grown organically. Do not eat flowers from florists,
nurseries or garden centres. Do not eat flowers
picked from the side of the road. They may be contaminated
from car emissions or herbicide sprays
- Because individuals can be allergic
to substances that are not generally poisonous –
milk or wheat for example - introduce flowers into
your diet the way you would new foods to a baby
- one at a time in small quantities. Generally if
you have hay fever or asthma or known allergies
to flowers, do not eat fresh flowers.
- Eat only the petals from larger
flowers (such as hollyhocks & hisbiscus), do
remove the pistils and stamens. You can eat the
whole flower, for example, of pansies, nasturtiums,
or scented geraniums.
- Always toss salads before adding
flowers because the dressing will spoil the colour
and fresh appearance of the delicate petals.
- There are many varieties of any
one flower. Flowers taste differently and have different
colours when grown in different locations.
Edible Flowers by Cathy Barash and the Edible Flower
Garden by Rosalind Creasy