Edible flowers are more common than you might think.
Peonies, pansies and nasturtiums, for example, are commonly grown in gardens across the UK. And all three can find their way onto your plate!
Plant experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have picked their top ten tasty flowers to enjoy in dishes, drinks and salads.
“Many of these flowers will already be found in gardens due to their ornamental values,” a spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk said:
“It’s important to do your research when it comes to flowers you can and can’t eat, as there are some flowers which are poisonous to humans .
“And just like with any food, flowers can cause allergies for some people. So it’s important to only eat small amounts at any one time.
“You should also look at specifically which parts of the plant you can eat. Poppies, for example, are completely poisonous apart from their tasty seeds.”
And remember: flowers should be washed gently in cold water before they are eaten, just like with fruit and vegetables from the garden!
Here are our experts’ top edible flowers:
The flavour of a peony has been likened to that of a peach or strawberry.
They’re perfect to flavour drinks, and also add a sweet dimension to salads.
You can parboil them with a bit of sugar to create a peony syrup.
Lilacs are in the olive family, making them perfect to be eaten.
They can be used to season scones, and can be mixed with cream cheese to create a tasty dip.
They can be quite bitter, but extremely floral.
Probably most well-known for its oil used in cooking, the petals of sunflowers are also edible.
They have a mild nutty taste, making them great for salads and stir fries.
These popular garden flowers have an extremely fresh flavour which is slightly salted.
They’re a great accompany to fish dishes, and taste great in salads with cabbages and carrots.
Rose water is extremely popular in desserts, with just a small amount of the liquid being needed due to its very strong flavour.
The petals of the flower share the same delicate, perfumed flavour, making them great for decorating drinks and plates.
Parboil the leaves of a honeysuckle to treat it like a vegetable, or use the flowers to create syrups and puddings.
Honeysuckle can also be used to create herbal teas.
Lavender can be used in dishes as a herb, similar to how you would use rosemary and thyme.
It is also popular in drinks such as cocktails. Use sparingly due to its strong flavour.
The flavour of nasturtium flowers is similar to that of watercress.
They will help add spice to salads and can also be used as a garnish with meaty steaks and casseroles to cut through the richness.
Marigolds have a beautiful citrus flavour making them a great flavour to pair with light seafood dishes.
They will also match beautifully in salads, sandwiches and desserts .