Edible Flowers for Containers: Most Popular Edible Flowers for Your Summer Table

Below is a listing of edible flowers for containers. These can be grown in containers in your backyard or on your patio. Not only will these edible flowers provide a beautiful background, they can also be handy for harvesting for your summer table.

I’ve created an edible flowers chart of the most popular and readily available edible flowers suitable for growing in containers. These are all easy to grow and will help add pizzazz to your summer salads and drinks.

Appleblossom:
Taste: Delicate floral flavor and aroma
Uses: Use in fruit dishes and desserts. May be candied and used as decorative accents
Comments: Eat in moderation as the flowers may contain cyanide precursors. Choose appleblossoms with care as blossoms from commercial orchards are sprayed with pesticides.

 

Calendula (Pot Marigold):
Taste: Ranges from spicy to tangy to peppery. Resembles the taste of saffron.
Uses: Sprinkle golden yellow petals on rice, soups, salads. Use to make calendula herb butter.
Comments: Yellow petals add golden color to rice, soups, and other entrees. Because of this and its flavor, it is often called the “Poor Man’s Saffron”. Yellow petals are a great addition to add color to herb butters.

 

Carnations:
Taste: Sweet floral taste
Uses: Candied (crystallized) for decorations on cakes and desserts.
Comments: Eat these in moderation. The petals of carnations have been used since the 1600s to make a French liqueur known as Chartreuse.

 

 

Chrysanthemums:
Taste: Tangy, slightly peppery. Can be pungent.
Uses: Sprinkle petals over salads. Add petals to dips and salad dressings.
Comments: Use petals only. Always remove the petal calyx (bottom white section) before using as this section is bitter.

 

 

Citrus Blossoms:
Taste: Waxy, citrusy flavor and lemony
Uses: Float blossoms in water to flavor it. Use crystallized blossoms as decorative accents.
Comments: Use sparingly.

 

 

Clover:
Taste: Mildly sweet, licorice flavored
Uses: Rice dishes, soups, butters, salads, teas
Comments: Try eating a small amount the first time you try clover. Can be difficult to digest.

 

 

Cornflower (Bachelor button):
Taste: Sweet to spicy. Resembles clove flavor.
Uses: Salads
Comments: Gorgeous blue color stands out because this color is not usually associated with foods. Great for 4th of July salads and desserts.

 

 

Dandelion:
Taste: Bitter. Young buds fried in butter tastes like mushrooms.
Uses: Soups, salads, rice dishes and other entrees especially potatoes. Makes great wine. Young leaves are good steamed or tossed into a salad.
Comments: Dandelion flowers should only be eaten after they are cooked.

 

Daylily:
Taste: Sweet, crunchy, resembles water chestnuts or crunchy lettuce, sometimes resemble asparagus. Mild vegetable flavor.
Uses: Great for salads and the buds are excellent in sautes. Can be stuffed and used as an appetizer. The flowers are good, but it’s the buds that shine in the kitchen when they are sauted in a little butter.
Comments: Be sure you are eating common daylilies and not varieties grown from bulbs like the Easter lily. Daylilies often act as a laxitive. Be careful of the amount you eat.

 

Dianthus(Pinks):
Taste: Resembles clove or nutmeg scent
Uses: Crystallized ((Candied)) petals can be used for decorating cakes and desserts. Fresh petals can be used in salads sandwiches, or dropped into pancake batter
Comments: The bottom of the petal (heel) is bitter and should be cut off when harvested.

 

English Daisy:
Taste: Mildly bitter
Uses: Use petals in garnishes and salads
Comments: Flowers are used more for their looks than their taste.

 

 

 

Fuchsia:
Taste: Slightly acidic
Uses: Beautiful blooms ideal for garnishes and floating in iced drinks. Used in sauces and they go great with pork.
Comments: Fuchsia berries are also edible.

 

 

 

Gladiolus:
Taste: Slightly tart with a vegetable taste resembling lettuce
Uses: Make dramatic holders for dips, fruit salads, ice cream with chocolate sauce
Comments: Buds can be used the same way as daylilies.

 

 

 

Herbs:
Taste: Dependent on the herb
Uses: Used in the kitchen, in teas and vinegars, has medicinal properties, used in making personal care products like soaps, skin creams, shampoos and cosmetics
Comments: All herb flowers are edible. Although small and not as showy as other flower blossoms, they can as some serious flavoring when added to a dish or used as garnish. Herbal flowers normally have the same flavor as their leaves.

 

Hibiscus:
Taste: Resembles cranberry with citrus taste in the background.
Uses: Large flower used for garnish, teas, fruit salads
Comments: Buds can be sauteed like daylilies

 

 

 

Impatiens:
Taste: Sweet flavor, quite bland
Uses: Used as garnish, salads, floated in drinks
Comments: Makes an excellent flower butter. Recipes for flower butters can be found on the internet.

 

Lavender:
Taste: Sweet floral flavor with undertones of lemon or citrus.
Uses: Sauces, teas, stews, salads, desserts
Comments: Wonderful blue=purple color adds impact to food presentation when used as a garnish. Lavender can often have a strong perfume flavor. Use sparingly at first and adjust to taste accordingly.

 

Mallow (Hollyhock):
Taste: Slightly sweet, very bland tasting.
Uses: Dramatic flower makes a showy, edible garnish.
Comments: The white part at the base of hollyhocks (the calyx) is bitter and should be removed when harvesting. Leaves are alsl edible.

 

Marigold:
Taste: Spicy, resembles cloves
Uses: Used for cooking in numerous ways. Add petals to entrees and salads.
Comments: Numerous recipes are available on the internet. Yellow petals can be used to color foods like saffron.

 

Nasturtium:
Taste: Peppery and spicy
Uses: Salads, dips, can be added to entrees such as pasta and chili.
Comments: One of the most used edible flowers. Pickled seed pods are less expensive substitute for capers.Leaves are also edible.

 

 

Pansy:
Taste: Sweet, fresh, grassy flavor
Uses: Terrific garnish when candied and used as decorations, fruit salads, desserts
Comments: Adds elegance to food presentation when used as garnish. Excellent flower to crystallize.

 

Primrose (Cowslip):
Taste: Sweet but bland
Uses: Cook as a vegetable, use in stirfrys, add to salads
Comments: Flower buds can be pickled. Can be fermented to make wine.

 

 

Rose:
Taste: from strawberries to sour- depending on the variety
Uses: Used in entrees and when baking desserts. Also used in jellies, dips, spice blends
Comments: Rose hips are edible and loaded with vitamin C. Used in teas and jellies

 

 

Scented Geraniums:
Taste: apple, ginger, peppermint, chocolate, nutmeg, and lime, according to the variety of geranium being used.
Uses: There is no limit to the use of scented geraniums in the kitchen. Used in salads, entrees, and baking.
Comments: Although all geraniums are edible, the scented ones stand out in the kitchen. They can be purchased in a large array of scents.

 

Viola (Johnny Jump Ups):
Taste: wintergreen, mint
Uses: Salads, drinks, garnish, served with soft cheeses
Comments: The petals can be used to thicken stews. They have a very distinct flavor however, and should be used sparingly for this process.

 

 

Disclaimer:
All the mentioned edible flowers have been researched by various horticultural societies and listed as safe to eat. However, individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed on this web page, do so entirely at their own risk since it is impossible to judge individual reaction to these flowers. The author of this page cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction to these flowers.

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