When people think about edible plants, many things come to mind: fruits and veggies, culinary herbs, and even some common weeds like dandelions. With so many obvious choices, it’s easy to overlook some of the many other tasty edibles in your garden; luckily, we’ve got the inside dirt on some super tasty edible flower varieties you can start using right now in your salads, stir-fries, and garnishes!
What Are Some Edible Flowers in BC?
Chances are, your summer garden is hiding an entire secret edible garden from you right under your nose! Aside from flowering perennials and annuals, many of our most delicious backyard crops start as flowers. Here are a few edible favourites that are perfect for your next summer salad!
The giant hyssop, or “licorice mint” as it’s commonly known, has delightful lavender-blue flowers that absolutely shine in any garden, but did you know that these perennial blooms taste as good as they look? Slightly minty with a hint of licorice flavour, these edible flowers taste incredible when brewed as a tea or mixed into a fruit and veggie salad.
These strong, reliable plants are native to South Africa and are some of summer’s greatest delights. Not only do they look gorgeous in borders, hanging baskets, and containers, but they also taste great, adding a variety of flavours to cakes, puddings, meat dishes, jams, and salads.
A cool-season grower full of myth and magical usage, these edible flowers also look great as cake toppers! Violas are used widely as both edible decorations and as additions to several delicacies, including desserts, cocktails, salads, and more!
One of the better-known edible flowers we love growing in Powell River is lavender! Both the flowers and leaves of lavender plants are edible and are often used in desserts, teas, syrups, sauces, and lemonades.
A super “all-purpose” flowering annual, this is one of the best edible flowers you can get! Every part of the nasturtium plant is edible and has a distinctive peppery taste that is strongest in the seeds and least noticeable in the flowers. They’re also perfect for attracting pollinators and preventing pests in your garden, making this bloom one of our favourites!
Many gardeners love having borage around to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, but it’s been used for centuries in both medicine and cuisine, too! You can eat the beautiful blue flower heads raw or add them to sweet little cakes and cookies. Younger borage leaves also make great additions to salads or your next evening tea.
If you’re looking to add some more vitamin C to your diet, roses are the edible flower for you! Rose petals are also high in antioxidants and are used around the world in teas, baked goods, food decoration, soups, and cocktails. For the best-tasting rose petals, pick the ones with the sweetest aroma.
A member of the brassica group, kale is a tasty addition to many fresh salads and culinary dishes, but we encourage you to eat the flowers of this plant, too! When brassica veggies start to bolt after winter, they produce flowers that are super tasty. The kale plant’s small, yellow edible blooms are a true, often overlooked delight that’s best enjoyed simply sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
We know rosemary is a popular herb in kitchens worldwide and is used commonly in Ayurvedic and traditional herbal medicine, but what about the flowers? The truth is that rosemary flowers are just as tasty as the leaves and can be used to make teas, olive oil infusions, and even baked goods.
Chive flowers are not just cute purple pom poms growing in your Powell River garden; they’re also tasty treats that can quickly become your next afternoon snack! Sure, the bees love them, but if you can grab a few for yourself, you can reap some of the many touted health benefits of all members of the allium family. Harvest chive flowers regularly to keep the plant growing.
We hope you enjoy all the beauty that your flowering garden brings you this summer, but remember that your plants might contain some pretty amazing secret delights that are missed at first glance! If you’re looking for even more edible flower recommendations, stop by Mother Nature today and check out what we’ve got in stock.