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  Picking Organic Flowers to Eat  

NEW! Pharmacopeia of Flowers: Foods, Drinks, Health & Beauty

Picking Edible Flowers to Eat:

Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest.


Where to Find Fresh Violets

The hardest part about cooking with violets is often finding the violets themselves. The best violets to use are Viola odorata, a species otherwise known as the sweet violet. They are native to Europe and Asia but may also be found in parts of North America. This variety is also sometimes cultivated and can be found at gourmet and specialty stores. So, to be safe, make sure you use violets (or any other edible flowers) that have not been treated with any herbicides or pesticides. If you have a garden, violets (perfumed Viola odorata variety included) are easy to grow.


Famous Paintings of Women Picking Flowers

Picking Flowers by Renoir in 1875 Resting By A Basket Of Flowers by Myron G. Barlow

"Picking Flowers"
by Renoir in 1875

"Resting By A Basket Of Flowers"
by Myron G. Barlow

Woman Picking Wildflowers The Trellis (Young Woman Arranging Flowers) by Gustave Courbet

"Woman Picking Wildflowers"

"The Trellis"
(Young Woman Arranging Flowers)
by Gustave Courbet

Children Picking Flowers Girls Picking Wildflowers by Walter Duncan

"Children Picking Flowers"

"Girls Picking Wildflowers"
by Walter Duncan


Woman With Flower Basket by Albert Fuller Graves The Vicars Rose Garden by Charles Edward Wilson Picking Flowers by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

"Woman With Flower Basket"
by Albert Fuller Graves

"The Vicar's Rose Garden"
by Charles Edward Wilson

"Picking Flowers"
by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

Picking Honeysuckle by Sophie Anderson Gathering Flowers In A French Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam Picking Flowers by Pierre Andre Brouillet

"Picking Honeysuckle"
by Sophie Anderson

"Gathering Flowers
In A French Garden"
by Frederick Childe Hassam

"Picking Flowers"
by Pierre Andre Brouillet

Lady Picking Flowers by J. W. Waterhouse Maidens Picking Flowers by a stream Woman Picking Flowers

"Lady Picking Flowers"
by J. W. Waterhouse

"Maidens Picking Flowers
by a stream"

"Woman Picking Flowers"

Woman Picking Flowers by Rosemary Sumner A Maid In Her Garden by Daniel Ridgeway Knight Le Jardin de la Marraine

"Woman Picking Flowers"
by Rosemary Sumner

"A Maid In Her Garden"
by Daniel Ridgeway Knight

"Le Jardin de la Marraine"


Parts of the Flower To Eat:

Following information from the book, Edible Flowers - From Garden To Palate, by Cathy Wilkinson Barash:

Remove the stamens and styles from the flowers before eating. The pollen can detract from the flavor of the flower. In addition, the pollen may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Remove the sepals of all flowers except violas, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies.

Only the petals of some flowers such as rose, calendula, tulip, chrysanthemum, yucca, and lavender are edible. When using just the petals, separate them from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum. Others, including Johnny-jump-up, violet, runner bean, honeysuckle, and clover can be eaten in their entirety.

Roses, dianthus, English daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums have a bitter white portion at the base of the petal where it was attached to the flower. Bread or cut off the bitter part off the petal before using.


Cleaning Edible Flowers:

Shake each flower to dislodge insects hidden in the petal folds. After having removed the stamen, wash the flowers under a fine jet of water or in a strainer placed in a large bowl of water. Drain and allow to dry on absorbent paper. The flowers will retain their odor and color providing they dry quickly and that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.


Preserving Edible Flowers:

To preserve flowers, put them on moist paper and place together in a hermetically-sealed container or in plastic wrapping. This way, certain species can be preserved in the refrigerator for some 10 days. If the flowers are limp, they can be revitalized by floating them on icy water for a few moments; don't leave too long or else they will lose some of their flavor. You can also store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.


Alice in Wonderland

Aloe & Aloe Vera

Apple Blossoms

Alice in Wonderland Singing Flowers Aloe Vera Flowers Apple Blossoms



Chamomile Daisies

Buttercups Chamomile Daisy


Crocus = Saffron


Hibiscus Flowers

Crocus = Saffron Dandelions Flowers Hibiscus Flowers



Kiwifruit Blossoms

Lady's Slipper

Iris Flowers Kiwifruit Blossoms Showy Lady's Slipper (Queen's Slipper) Root Tea, American Velerian, Nerve Root



MarshMallow Flowers


Lavender MarshMallow Flowers Sunflowers


Common Edible Flowers

  • Artichoke (flower bud)
  • Broccoli (flower buds)
  • Cauliflower (flower buds)
  • Caper (flower buds)
  • Chamomile (for tea)
  • Cannabis (flowers or buds)
  • Chives (flowers or buds)
  • Chrysanthemum (flower)
  • Citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit)
  • Clover (Trifolium)
  • Daisies (Bellis perennis quills)
  • Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale leaves, roots, flowers, petals, buds)
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis buds, flowers, petals)
  • Elderflower (blossoms for drink)
  • Hibiscus
  • Honeysuckle
  • Jasmine (for tea)
  • Lilac (salads)
  • Moringa oleifera
  • Nasturtium (blossoms and seeds)
  • Osmanthus fragrans (flower)
  • Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals)
  • Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis petals with white heel removed)
  • Roses (Rosa petals with white heel removed, rose hips)
  • Sesbania grandiflora (flower)
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus buds, petals, seeds)
  • Violet (leaf and flowers in salads, candied flowers for pastry decoration)
  • Zucchini blossoms (blossoms)


Books About Edible Flowers

  • A Feast of Flowers. Strowbridge, Cynthia and Francesca Tillona. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969.
  • A Potpourri of Pansies. Mead, Chris and Emelie Tolley. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1993.
  • Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate. Barash, Cathy Wilkinson. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing, 1993.
  • Flowerpower. Brown, Kathy. New York: Anness Publishing Limited, 2000.

Books About Cooking with Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers From Garden to Palate Edible Flowers Desserts and Drinks Flowers in the Kitchen
Edible Flower Garden Edible Flowers A-Z Good Enough to Eat
The Scented Kitchen Flower Power cookbook Cooking with Edible Flowers


Books About Cooking with Edible Herbs

Edible Herb Garden Complete Book of Herbs Pocket Garden Herbs
New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia
RHS Encyclopedia of Herbs Essential Guide to Herbs Essential Herbs Handbook
Herbs Country Garden Cookbook Growing Herbs From Seed, Cutting and Root Basil Herb Lovers Guide
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine Essential Herbal Wisdom Complete Guide Medicine Herbs


Books About Eating from Kitchen Gardens

New Kitchen Garden Designing Edible Landscape Permaculture in Nutshell
Recipes From the Garden Grow Great Grub Gaias Garden
Blue Potatoes Orange Tomatoes Kitchen Witch's Cookbook Kitchen Witch's Cookbook
Edible Landscape Complete Book of Edible Landscaping Landscaping With Fruits and Vegetables
Edible Landscaping Bountiful Container Potager Garden Map
Edible Heirloom Garden Edible Flower Garden Edible Salad Garden
Edible Herb Garden Edible Pepper Garden Edible Rainbow Garden
Edible Italian Garden Edible French Garden Edible Asian Garden
Edible Mexican Garden Edible Estates  



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