Preparedness blog

14 Beautiful Flowers that You Can Eat

By Jeff and Amy Davis
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While most people give gifts of flowers to their loved ones, did you know that you might be able to survive off of those flowers?

You can eat some flowers in an emergency situation to keep your alive. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, use the knowledge below to help you get out safe and sound.

Be Safe
There are a few things to consider when  you are going to eat a flower. First, be sure that it’s edible. If you’re not sure if a plant of flower is edible - don’t eat it. It’s safest to eat flowers that you have grown yourself, that way you don’t have to worry about knowing what chemicals or pesticides have been used on them. For that reason, don’t eat plants or flowers that were grown in parks or on the side of the road.

Please also note that with many flowers, only the petals are edible and the pollen of the flower can cause some highly allergic reactions.

Edible Flowers

Marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
It’s sometimes called the poor man’s saffron. Marigolds are spicy with a little bit of tangy taste. It will add a golden hue to your foods.
Clove Pink (Dianthus caryophyllus)
The clove pink has a spicy taste to it, almost peppery. They can come in a variety of colors including white, red, pink and yellow.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Has a faint apple flavor. When made into a tea, it tastes very good. The chamomile is often used to create cosmetics but is considered a great antiseptic and antibiotic.
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) The plant is 16-35 inches tall with a grey-green branched stem. It is often used as an ingredient in tea blends and tisanes. cornflower-337197_1920
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Very young flowers can be fried in butter and they taste like mushrooms. The leaves can also be eaten in salads or soups. Raw leaves might be a little bitter but they have a lot of calcium.
Tasso Deep Rose (Bellis perennis)
Has a tangy flavor. The flower is typically found close to the ground and the petals can be used for salads, soups or sandwiches.
Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)
Has a sweet flavor that is very light to the taste. It is also an evergreen flower so you’re more likely to find it around. It is common in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan and India.
Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
If you boil Habiscus, it makes a very good tea. It has often been used in salads in the Pacific Islands.
Common mallow (Malva sylvestris)
This very delicate flower is sweet and has a soft taste on the pallet. It was used across Europe during the 1840s as a vegetable when boiled.
Lark’s Heel (Tropaeolum majus)
The buds of the Lark’s Heel (aka Nasturtium) are often picked and used as capers. It has a slightly peppery taste and can be used in salads.
Lady’s Fingers (Hibiscus esculentus)
This flower tastes similar to a squash blossom. It can be used to thicken soups. The seed pods are used widely in rice dishes, soups and other vegetable dishes. 
Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana)
This is a very flavorful flower that tastes a lot like a ripe pineapple. It has a grey-green leaf and grows about 10-15 tall and wide.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus 9)
If the flowers haven’t opened yet, pick off the buds and steam them like artichokes. If the flower is open, the petals are still edible but they are very bitter.
Forest Pansy (Cerci canadensis)
The flower that grows on the Eastern Redbud tree was used by Native Americans. They would roast the seeds or eat the flowers raw.

Have you eaten flowers?

Comment below to tell us what flowers you’ve used or eaten.

9 years ago
Vickie B.
9 years ago at 3:45 AM
I have used pansies that I grew myself as decorations for a cake. I paint the leaves with powdered egg white, then sprinkle with sugar and they "crystallize". They look like they have ice crystals and are beautiful on the cake. Tasty too!
Jeff Pearce
9 years ago at 5:45 AM
Ornamental cabbage is a "superfood". Grows in the winter and has a strong broccoli taste.
9 years ago at 6:40 AM
If the Dandelion is mature and large, go for the root and clean & cook like a carrot. Another common and very edible plant is the Arrowhead found around many ponds and marshes. The root (tuber) is potato-like and tasty. Arum has some visual similarities, but is not edible, so when it comes to edible plants, learn to identify, identify, IDENTIFY! A good reference guide, for that matter, a good library should be part of everyone’s preparedness.
Northwoods Cheryl
6 years ago at 7:52 AM
Be careful eating Dandelion roots. They have a diuretic quality to them and can make you urinate excessively thereby dehydrating you. Dandelion root tea is often used as a wild medicine to help lower blood pressure by eliminating excess fluids in your body. It DOES work! I have tried it several times but as a tea.
9 years ago at 5:57 PM
Wild Edible Hibiscus: The flowers, buds and leaves are a deep cranberry color. Some friends of mine thought we had some sort of Japanese Maple in the yard, but it was just the Edible Hibiscus! In Florida they are easy to grow ... if you have one, soon you'll have many! They are a great food, you can add the leaves to salads. The flower buds are excellent to can. You can add some sugar to them and make a syrup. Add them to some champagne (you don't even have to be in survival mode to do that!) Google for images and recipes of them. Try it, you'll like it!
Mr. Prepper
9 years ago at 7:53 AM
9 years ago at 8:38 AM
I have a very large wild honeysuckle on my property and every year i pick and dry as much as i can it makes a very good cleansing/detox tea and i also use it in homemade soaps and perfumes.But we are talking edible so here is the recipe i use. place 1 cup of honeysuckle flowers and leaves in 1 quart of boiling water. Turn off heat and place cover on pot. Let the mixture steep for at least 10 minutes, and then strain. If you have any leftover, put the in the fridge and drink as an iced/cool tea. You can drink up to 2 cups a day. If you only have dried honeysuckle, you can boil two teaspoons of dried honeysuckle in one cup of water.hope its helpful :)
Eric Albright
9 years ago at 10:42 AM
I make Red Bud Blossom jelly
9 years ago at 12:43 PM
I've eaten the petals of violets and day lillies. When I was a kid, Dad tried dandelion leaves. He picked some relatively young leaves (not the very tiniest, youngest ones) and boiled them three or four times, pouring the water off each time, which never became less green. The leaves were still bitter. I'd go with the very youngest leaves if I were to eat dandelion!
9 years ago at 1:09 PM
When I was very young, my friend and I would eat Lilac flowers. We would look for the ones that had more than four petals. They were supposed to bring us good luck. We never got sick so I guess they are edible.
9 years ago at 2:38 PM
I tried dandelion flowers for the first time summer before last. You'd best believe I was out picking them last summer! Dip in milk and flour, and fry. Omigosh! Couldn't get enough LOL From childhood, we've picked clover flowers and bitten the fat end off for the sweetness also. I guess you can make tea from them, but we liked them just the way they were.
Richard Francis..
9 years ago at 5:14 AM
Here's a hint for every one..Trying in privet,,make sure it the right flowwer and have some one check on you latter,,talk to them about it as a check up ..and when out in public for safty sake bring along a piture so no mistakes are made about what your eatting and REALLY Watch out for pestasides near farms and others.Wind blows every wich way...That will kill you or make you sick real fast..Even when you get them home inside..Remember the check up latter from some one who won't think your a nut from a tree....
Cyndi S.
9 years ago at 9:26 AM
I have eaten dandelion leaves in salad. Must use the smaller, newer leaves for best taste. They are good for your liver, also.
Jeff K.
9 years ago at 11:28 AM
Dandelion blossoms can be dipped in egg and rolled in seasoned flour. Fry in oil until golden brown. Nice crunchy snack that tastes a lot like popcorn.
9 years ago at 12:34 PM
Clover flowers dipped in a batter and stir fried is good. Any of the flowers white, red or pink. All are good with different flavors just remember to remove the green at the bottom of the flower as it is bitter.
9 years ago at 12:47 PM
I remember eating batter dipped then fried squash-Zucchini flowers since I was a child. They are considered an Italian delicacy and are rich in nutrients.
8 years ago at 9:36 AM
My Grandmother always cooked pumpkin flowers. She dipped them in an egg and flower mixture and then fried them.
8 years ago at 7:33 PM
I like to grow mint. It helps repell bugs. My son loves to eat it which he was doing before he could brush his teeth. When you boil it works as a vapor great for cough. When u do as a tea even cold it helps with my asthma and if you consume mint everyday it helps with inflamation n joint pain. Put in a tube with Epsom salt soak grab some chamomile boil into tea mix with honey n vodka. Nice drink to have when u do a soak. Tulip bulbs r good to eat.
8 years ago at 2:01 PM
When I was a kid I was told that what you call cornflowers were called Bachler's Buttons are they the same?
debbie e
7 years ago at 4:01 PM
Common day lilies called road lilies because they grow wild in ditches are edible as buds ; taste kind of like spicy green beans. Good mixed in with green beans. The flowers are also nice added to salads.
7 years ago at 4:58 AM
I grow Borage for several uses. Planted near tomatoes it keeps the horned caterpillars from eating the tomatoes. The young leaves and the flowers are both edible and the leaves can also be made into tea.
7 years ago at 12:26 PM
It would be just a touch more helpful if you could expand on the actual nutritional value of these.
7 years ago at 12:47 PM
At our place in central Texas we eat just about everything that grows on our 4 acres. I crystalize pink and purple blooms of spiderwort for a sweet treat. I add nasturtiums, dandilions, blackfoot daisies, and gerainiums to salads. We make jam out of ground cherries, batter & fry spider milk weed blooms, tea with stinging nettles, make awesome margaritas with the tunas from prickly pear, and more I can't even think of right now!
Northwoods Cheryl
6 years ago at 10:03 AM
Those nasturtiums are DELICIOUS stuffed with crab salad!!
7 years ago at 1:59 PM
Could you create a deck of 2-sided ID cards with actual color photos (submitted by your readers and approved)with all the names they are called, including any slang, and what parts of the U.S. they are found in? and how to eat, cook, or, with a recipe?
7 years ago at 12:23 PM
I have eaten just about everything that grows,so I won't beat your ears off with what I have done.I want to alert you to a specific plant that is grown as an ornamental,or as hedges by municipalities.It is called the oleander.This shrub is toxic in ALL of its parts.LEARN TO IDENTIFY IT ON SIGHT.This plant does not suffer testing.Do not suck nectar from the flowers,do not chew the leaves,do not lick branches...NOTHING.Just using a branch to cook a hot dog on can kill you.Oleanders come in white,pink,or red flowers.Be aware.
6 years ago at 2:29 PM
I don't believe Jerusalem artichoke has been mentioned. It taste good raw or cooked and is listed in the USDA database of food nutrient values. They are easy to grow and they multiply.
Kim P.
2 months ago at 9:57 AM
Chicory is an edible flower that's beautiful in salads. The roots can be washed, roasted in slow heat then pounded into powder for adding to coffee or as a substitute. The flavor is bittersweet and a little goes a long way. It's also used as a liver tonic so go easy on drinking more than a cup of it.