Edible flower

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Blue borage is used as a sweet-flavored garnish

Edible flowers are flowers that can be consumed safely. Flowers are part of many regional cuisines, including Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines.[1]

Uses[edit]

Chocolate cake with candied violets

Flowers are added to foods to provide taste, aroma, and color. They can be part of a main dish, a salad, or a dessert. They can be added as a garnish. Flowers can be incorporated into beverages as flavorings, or used to make teas or wines. They are added to spreads such as butter or fruit preserves, and to vinegar, marinades, and dressings.[1] Some are dried and used like culinary herbs.[2]

Flowers are also consumed for subsistence.[1]

Many flowers that are technically edible can be far from palatable.[3]

For best flavor, flowers should be fresh and harvested early in the day. Wilted and faded flowers, and the unopened buds of most species, can be distasteful, often bitter. Many flowers can be eaten whole, but some have bitter parts, such as the stamens and stems.[2]

Risks[edit]

Some flowers are safe to eat only in small amounts. Apple flowers (Malus spp.) contain cyanide precursors and Johnny jump-ups (Viola tricolor) contain saponins. Borage (Borago officinalis) and daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) flowers are diuretics and sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) can have blood-thinning effects. The flowers of linden trees (Tilia spp.) are reportedly safe in small amounts but heavy consumption can cause heart damage. Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) can be harmful in large amounts, and only certain species have an appealing flavor.[1]

Toxic flowers are easily mistaken for edible varieties, and safe and unsafe species may share a common name. Various non-toxic plants can cause severe allergies in some people. Flowers commonly carry traces of pesticides and harbor organisms such as insects. Flowers cultivated as ornamental plants for garden use are not intended for use as food.[2]

Common edible flowers[edit]

Moringa oleifera flowers are a popular food item on the Indian Subcontinent
The Vietnamese dish gỏi bông điên điển và tép đồng with Sesbania bispinosa flowers

Flowers reported as edible include:[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Lauderdale, C. and E. Evans. Edible Flowers. Horticulture Information Leaflet 8513. North Carolina State University. 1999.
  2. ^ a b c Newman, S. E. and A. S. O'Connor. Edible Flowers. Colorado State University Extension. 2013.
  3. ^ Coyle, G. Edible Flowers. University of Minnesota Extension Service. Reviewed 1999.
  4. ^ "Acacia flowers—a potent cough mixture". European Union Development Fund. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  5. ^ "Acacia flower fritters". Morrison, Médoc, France. 
  6. ^ "Frittelle di Fiori d'Acacia (Black Locust Flower Pancakes)". Cooking and traveling in Italy. 
  7. ^ "ACACIA FLOWER FRITTERS". Tatty Apron. 
  8. ^ "Riaperta la stagione della cacia". Unazebrapois. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Barash, C. W. Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing, 1993.
  • Brown, K. Flowerpower. New York: Anness Publishing Limited, 2000.
  • Mead, C. and E. Tolley. A Potpourri of Pansies. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1993.
  • Strowbridge, C. and F. Tillona. A Feast of Flowers. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969.