The 10 Commandments of Edible Flowers
Edible flowers are a delight for the eyes and for the taste buds. But don't eat edible flowers until you read these rules that will keep you safe.
You’ve heard of the 10 Commandments from the Bible. But the 10 Commandments of Edible Flowers? As gardeners and adventurous eaters begin to embrace eating more edible plants and flowers, it’s important to be able to identify edible flowers and their growing conditions.
Before you eat flowers or plants that you think are edible, make sure the flowers and plants really are edible.
Follow these 10 Commandments of Edible Flowers to ensure your safety
Eat only those flowers you can positively identify as safe and edible. Learn the Latin (botanical) names, which are universally accepted. The common names of plants may vary from region to region, and they can therefore be confusing.
Do not assume that restaurants and caterers always know which flowers are edible flowers. Just because it is on your plate does not mean it is edible.
Eat only those edible flowers that have been grown organically.
Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, garden centers or public gardens (see Rule #3).
Eat only the petals of flowers. Always remove and discard the pistils and stamens before eating. (Except for tiny flowers such as thyme, where it would be like performing microsurgery to remove the pistils and stamens.)
Do not eat flowers picked from the side of heavily trafficked roads.
Eat only the flowers of the recommended plants. Other parts of the plant may be toxic or inedible, even though the edible flower is delicious.
Do not eat edible flowers if you have hay fever, asthma or allergies.
Gradually introduce edible flowers into your diet—one at a time and in small quantities. (In much the same way you would add new foods to a baby’s diet.)
10. Not all sweet-smelling flowers are edible; some are poisonous. Don’t assume a flower is edible. (See Rule #1.)
For more information about edible flowers, including recipes that use dandelions, tulips and sweet violets, read Edible Spring Flowers: Dandelions, Tulips and Violets.
Cathy Wilkinson Barash is the author of Edible Flowers from Garden to Palate, a book that contains 280 recipes for 67 different flowers. She is also the author of Edible Flowers: Drinks & Desserts
© 2019 Cathy Wilkinson Barash