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Types of Edible Flowers & How to Use Them

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Edible flowers are the best! They add an exciting pop of color to any dish.

So many flowers are edible - here’s a list of flowers that are edible and recipes to use them in. But first, it's essential to know a few things. 

Tips for Using Edible Flowers in Cooking

  • Allergies- Many flowers need the stamens and styles removed before eating because the pollen can cause allergic reactions. For some of the smaller flowers (violas, pansies, honeysuckle, and clover) you do not need to do this.
  • Be Careful - Do not assume all flowers are edible. Many flowers cause allergic reactions or are poisonous. If you cannot identify a flower, it's best to take a sample to a greenhouse or nursery to be identified before you try eating it. 
  • Contaminated Flowers - Do not eat flowers sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides. Likewise, do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road, as they may be contaminated with car exhaust.  
  • Taste - All flowers that aren't poisonous or cause an allergic reaction are considered edible, but that doesn't mean they taste good. 
  • Children - Teach children that not all flowers are edible and many can cause severe allergic reactions. 
  • Preservation Tip - Ice water can perk up wilted flowers. You can also save edible flowers in the refrigerator.
Several types of edible flowers on a pink background.

Where to Buy Edible Flowers

If you can't pick edible flowers or get to a farmer's market, there are several online shops that will ship them to you. If you're in the US: Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, Marx Foods, and Melissa's. If you're in the UK: Greens of Devon

You can also grow your own edible flowers! I've found these seed packets to be very good. 

List of Edible Flowers

Chive blossom on a pink background.

Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic)

Allium blossoms have a sweet onion-to-garlic flavor and can be used in a variety of ways, including sauces and salad garnishes.

This Asparagus Chives recipe and this Chive Blossom Vinegar are interesting ways to use alliums. 

Arugula flowers and stem on a pink background.

Arugula Flowers

Arugula flowers have a peppery bite.

The Kitchn has a great roundup of arugula flower recipes. Another interesting take on arugula flowers is this recipe for rotis

Basil flowers on a pink background.

Basil Flowers

Basil flowers are aromatic and tangy. Typically, basil flowers are pinched off the basil plant and discarded, so the plant will produce more leaves.

This herb flower pesto is a great showcase for basil flowers, or try them in this basil flower vinegar

Bright pink begonia flowers.


Begonias are vibrantly colored flowers with a citrus taste. They are most often used in salads, like this strawberry begonia salad

Warning: The flowers and stems contain oxalic acid and should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidney stones, or rheumatism. (source: What's Cooking America)


Borage flowers are small, bright blue, and star-shaped. They have a light cucumber flavor and one of their most popular uses is as a garnish in a Pimm's Cup.

Additionally, borage flowers are used in this classic English dessert - Blackberry Fool

Impatiens flowers on a pink background.

Busy Lizzie (Impatiens)

Impatiens come in multiple colors from purple to pink to white and are easy to grow.

Flowers have soft and sweet petals. Because of their sweetness, they are a perfect addition to salads. 

Three calendula flowers.


Calendulas can be yellow, orange or gold and have a nice peppery taste with a faint citrus flavor. They have a similar flavor to saffron. Sometimes, they can be bitter.

Calendulas are great shredded in salads or added to tea. This lentil salad features kicky marigold petals. They're also are easily made into ice cubes, as featured in this lovely post

A pink carnation on a pink background.


Carnation flower petals are edible, but the base is quite bitter and inedible, so cut or tear the petals off before using.

Carnations were used in this beautiful Flower Power Cake and in this Eat Your Garden Salad. They'd also make a lovely decoration in a punch bowl. 

Chamomile flowers on a pink background.


Chamomile flowers are small and daisy-like. They taste slightly of apple and are often used in tea or medicinal drinks, like this Blossom Tisane

This rhubarb, strawberry, and chamomile galette is a great way to celebrate the subtle flavor of chamomile. You can also use them to top salads, like this watermelon cucumber salad.

Coriander flowers on a pink background.

Coriander Flower 

Coriander flowers, also called cilantro flowers, taste much like the herb. Use the flowers raw, as they lose flavor when cooked. This simple recipe for Coriander Flower Liqueur is a delicious way to use the flowers.   

A blue cornflower on a pink background.

Cornflower (Bachelor's Buttons)

Cornflowers, also called Chicory flowers, are usually bright blue and can have a strong, sometimes bitter flavor - similar to endives. They are often pickled or used in jams and sometimes in salads. 


Chervil flowers are small and white and have an anise flavor. They're best used raw and in salads. 


Chrysanthemums come in a range of colors and have a faint peppery taste. The base can be bitter, so it's best to use just the petals. This recipe for a potato frittata uses both chrysanthemums and dandelions. 

Two clover flowers.


Clover flowers are faintly sweet and are often used in syrups (like this one) and in baked goods.  Clover can be used in simple recipes, like this one for red clover jelly.

A white and yellow daisy flower.


Daisy petals are commonly used as a garnish, but they have very little taste. Daisy lollipops make for a stunning little treat. Warning: If you have hay fever or asthma, avoid daisies as they can trigger an allergic reaction. 

A dandelion on a pink background.


Dandelions, when picked young, have a sweet honey taste. They can be made into wine and also taste lovely when steamed. This spring pea pasta with wild dandelions is a beautiful celebration salad. This dandelion wine would be fun to make!

An orange daylily on a pink background.


Daylily flowers come in many colors and are sweet and crunchy - similar to the flavor of asparagus. Here's a fun video from PBS on Daylily Fritters, and a useful post on foraging for and cooking the parts of a daylily. 

Three purple dianthus flowers.


Dianthus flower petals are edible (the green parts are not), so remove the petals from the stems before consuming them.

They make a pretty addition to cupcakes, desserts, and cocktails.

Dill flower on a pink background.

Dill Flower

Dill flowers have a stronger dill flavor than the leaves and seeds, but can be used similarly. 


Elderflowers are small, white blossoms that are quite sweet. This elderflower pate is a wonderful way to showcase edible flowers.

Or, if you're looking for something more savory, this recipe for elderflower tempura should fit the bill. And, if you want something healthy, this elderflower acai bowl looks perfect. 

Fennel Flowers

Fennel flowers are small, yellow starbursts that have a strong anise flavor. Fennel blossoms can be added to sauces, dressings, and soups - and also makes a lovely garnish. Try them in this Fennel Blossom Soup

A bright pink fuchsia flower.


Fuchsia comes in a variety of bright colors and looks lovely as a garnish in salads and cold soups. They are also commonly candied and added to sweets. The stamen needs to be removed before eating. 


Gladiolus flowers come in a wide array of colors and taste similar to lettuce. They can be stuffed or used in salads. 

A large pink hibiscus flower.


Hibiscus flowers are tart and sweet. They're often found in teas and salads. Dried hibiscus adds gorgeous color to this ice cream recipe. Or, try these oh-so-pretty hibiscus marshmallows

A frilly pink hollyhock flower.


Hollyhocks come in a wide range of colors. They can be used in syrups and baking. This Hollyhock Clafoutis features hollyhock flowers. 


Honeysuckle flowers are edible, but the berries are highly poisonous. The flowers are highly perfumed and can be candied.

Here are a few recipes for honeysuckle flowers: Honeysuckle Iced Tea, Honeysuckle and Jasmine Cupcakes, Honeysuckle Vodka, and Honeysuckle Sorbet


Jasmine flowers are extremely fragrant and are often used in tea. Another way to showcase the jasmine flower is this Jasmine Martini

Three stalks of lavender flowers.


Lavender flowers may be blue, violet, or lilac and have a very strong, floral flavor and are heavily perfumed. They are lovely in tea, salads, and baked goods. This recipe for Lavender Lemonade is another classic use of lavender. 


Lilac flowers are very fragrant and are often used in baking and sweets. Here's a wonderful list of 9 lilac recipes to try. Or, how about some brioche doughnuts with lilac sugar?

Mint Flowers

Mint flowers are tiny but pack a very minty punch. Mint flowers can be used in salads, pesto, and add great flavor to Middle Eastern dishes. 

A yellow, orange, and red nasturtium on a pink background.


Nasturtiums come in tropical colors ranging from white to red to orange. They taste similar to watercress and have a slightly peppery kick. This easy recipe of nasturtiums stuffed with basil and ricotta is simple and beautiful.

Orange Blossoms

Orange blossoms are the precursor to oranges and can be picked and used in salads or in orange blossom water.

The purple violas.


Pansies can be white, pink, purple, yellow, or multi-colored and they have a light, and sweet flavor. A great way to use pansies is to sugar them and put them on a cake or cookies. Here's a recipe for Pansy Shortbread.

White pea flowers on a pink background.

Pea Flowers

Pea flowers are delicate and taste like young peas. They can easily be added to salads or candied. They'd also be lovely in a stir-fry. Warning: Only Pea flowers are edible, Sweet Pea Flowers are poisonous. 


Primrose flowers have a sweet flavor and make a great addition to green salads and sweets. Here's a gorgeous Lavender Cupcake with Candied Primroses. Primroses can also be fermented into wine. 

A bright pink rose on a pink background.


All roses are edible, but typically, the darker the flower, the deeper the taste will be. 

This wild rose petal sangria has both elderflower and rose petals. You can also make your own rose water.

Rosemary Flowers

Rosemary flowers taste similar to the herb, if slightly less strong, and can be used in sauces or to flavor meat.

They can be used in butter, similar to this Butter with Rosemary recipe, or as a garnish, as in this Roasted Potatoes recipe. 

An orange and green safflower on a pink background.


Safflower blossoms are orange-red and look like shaggy puffs. They can be used similarly to saffron.

Here's a list of a number of Middle Eastern dishes that use dried safflower. Warning: Do not eat large amounts during pregnancy

Strawberry Blossoms

Strawberry blossoms are small and white or pink and have a mild strawberry taste. They can be floated in drinks or to garnish baked goods. 

A sunflower on a pink background.


Sunflower blossoms are large and yellow. They taste mildly of asparagus and can be cooked or eaten raw. 


Violets have a delicate, floral taste. Violets are often made into a syrup for a stronger flavor. 

This lovely matcha sponge cake with fresh violets is a great way to showcase their stunning colors. Violets are an easy flower to grow - here's a great resource for how to grow and when to harvest violets


Young yucca flowers taste a little like asparagus and have a pleasant crunch, but can become bitter as they get older. Here's a recipe for a fried yucca flower with mesquite

A large yellow squash blossom on a pink background.

Zucchini (Squash Blossom)

Zucchini flowers or squash blossoms have a subtle zucchini flavor and taste a bit like nectar.

They are easily stuffed, and possible recipes include flowers stuffed with rice, beet hummus, or cheese. You can also use them on squash blossom pizza. Here's a great list from The Kitchn on 5 ways to eat squash blossoms

Ice cubes with flowers in them on a small green plate.

How to Use Edible Flowers

You can use edible flowers in all sorts of ways.

They are perfect for all sorts of sweets - on top of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. They are especially cute when candied or sugared.

They’re also great in salads, in cocktails, or on top of toast. Make Edible Flower Ice Cubes for a fun addition to cocktails or punches.

A grouping of edible flowers.

More Edible Flower Fun

More ways to use and learn about edible flowers!

25+ Ways to Put Edible Flowers on the Table from The View From Great Island

Edible Flowers Recipe from 101 Cookbooks