How to … grow edible flowers

Many households have pots or plots of herbs and for the keen gardeners, it’s veggie gardens or pots containing the likes of tomatoes, silverbeet, and even strawberries. But many of us tend to overlook edible flowers, which make a beautiful and tasty addition to many dishes.

Of course, some flowers are poisonous, so you need to do your research, and you must avoid using flowers that may have been sprayed with an insecticide, fungicide or herbicide.

Here are some tasty morsels you can grow and enjoy.

Alliums. Common varieties being chives, leeks and garlic – all delicious in dips and salads.

Anise hyssop. As the name suggests, this flower has an aniseed flavour. Add to sweet or savoury dishes, or as a garnish for a cheese platter.

Bee balm. Minty-tasting flowers.

Borage. This herb has a light cucumber taste. Great for salads or to freeze in ice cubes for cold drinks.

Calendula. Petals are edible and add a pop of colour in salads.

Chamomile. The small flowers of English chamomile have an apple-like flavour.

Daylily. The buds and blossoms can be used in stir-fries or stuffed and made into fritters. They taste like asparagus.

Honeysuckle. The flowers can be added to salads, but the berries should be avoided as they are poisonous.

Marigolds. The tiny flowers have a citrusy taste.

Mint. All flowers and leaves in the mint family are edible.

Nasturtiums. Leaves and flowers can be eaten. The flowers have a peppery flavour, not unlike watercress.

Pansies. These pretty flowers are commonly used to decorate desserts and cakes.

Scarlet runner beans. Mix the bright-red flowers with steamed vegetables or add to a salad.

Squash blossoms. The flowers taste a bit like asparagus and can be stuffed and made into fritters.

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Written by Andrea


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