Research: 5 Edible Flowers

Now that I re-landscaped my front yard with herbs and drought tolerate plants, started a few edibles in the back, it’s time to think about adding color to my backyard with flowers to eat.

My theoretical rule: If it doesn’t have a purpose, then I don’t want it.

Some fruits and veggies just aren’t as pretty as flowers, but even flowers can be eaten. Enter purpose! Wouldn’t they add some nice color to a salad? Although, I’ve planned on planting wild flowers to attract honey bees and birds, I’m searching for a deeper purpose. This is my research of edible flowers and what do with them.

Lavender

LAVENDER in the Garden: Have it. Apparently, these are hard to grow, but it’s working for me. You need a dry, well-drained soil to grow this perennial. There are hybrids that make this herb easier to grow in Texas depending on the soil condition and humidity.

LAVENDER in your diet: Grind buds into a powder and mix 1 tablespoon into 2 cups of superfine sugar for a fragrant flavor booster for everything from lemonade to whipped cream. I have this in full bloom in my front yard. I planted this last fall, and I can’t wait for it to take over the bed.

Nasturtium

NASTURTIUM in the Garden: Don’t have it. I had no idea this was an herb! Like my beloved cilantro, this thrives in cooler weather, so plant in the fall. This annual grows happily in a well-drained container. Plant seeds 2 inches deep for blooms in four to six weeks.

NASTURTIUM in your diet: Stuff the flowers with herbed cream cheese or fold them into omelets for a peppery punch.

Cornflowers or Bachelor’s Button

CORNFLOWERS in the Garden: Don’t have it. The name originated from being a weed in corn fields. Cornflowers are both perennials or annuals depending on the variety. They are easy to grow and also come in pink and white. This flowers are often included in your ‘wild flower’ packages. Grow these annuals in full sun and plant in early spring. 


CORNFLOWERS in your diet: Remove the petals from the bitter center bud and mix them into pasta salad to add extra color and an earthy, clove-like taste. I hear this flower has a bland taste but has some medical benefits. It makes an excellent garish in salads, entrees and drinks.

Daylilies

DAYLILIES in your Garden: They are tough, adaptable perennials that thrive in full sun with little to no care. I have a friend with these. They grow like weeds and come in thick. Daylilies aren’t even true lilies, but get their name from flowering for  only one day. 


DAYLILIES in your diet: Snack on the closed buds or remove the bitter stamens from the center and spoon chicken salad into the flower cup. White, cream, and yellow varieties taste sweetest. 

Portulaca

PORTULACA in your Garden: This flower thrives in hot weather and even poor soil conditions and adapts to most garden conditions. The flowers usually close at night or on cloudy days. Little fertilizer is needed as it will make it grow but will not produce the desired flowers.

PORTULACA in your diet: Leaves and flowers are edible with a salty, spinach-like flavor. The leaves can thicken soups and fortify salads with omega-3 fatty acids.

In conclusion, Portulacas are my flower, but I need to tap the breaks with the projects. I’ll add them in a few months.

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