Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers
What’s not to love about decorating your dishes with flowers? You can use them to decorate your salads, puddings and drinks and they add an extra lift and flavour.
It’s surprising how many flowers you can actually eat but always check before you do as some flowers can be poisonous! And ensure you select from areas that haven’t been touched by pets or chemicals, such as lawns and grass verges.
As well as the leaves, you can often use the flowers of herbs which deliver more intense flavours. So you can not only spice up a dish, you can decorate it too. And with food scarcity becoming more of an issue, it’s great to be able to eat the whole plant and not just a small part of it.
Flowers you can eat
We’ve compiled a small list of edible flowers, how they taste and what to do with them (best to use organically/home-grown):
Arugula (rocket) Spicy Add to salads
Borage Cooling, cucumber-like
Add to drinks (lemonade or Pimms) or as a garnish
Chamomile Mild apple
Dry and make tea, or add to salads or soups
Chives Mild onion Add to salads
Coriander Intense Herb
Add to Asian-style dishes
Clover Sweet, mild liquorice
Add to salads in moderation as may cause bloating
Cornflower Spicy, clove-like
Garnish dishes or add to drinks
Courgette flowers Mild courgette
Tear into salads or stuff with soft cheese and deep fry
Dandelion Sweet, honey-like
Pick small unopened buds, scatter over salads
Dill Intense dill
Use when cooking fish or scatter raw over salads
Fennel Mild liquorice
Good in desserts
Garlic Mild garlic zing
Sprinkle over salads
Lavender Sweet, intensely floral
Decorate or infuse flavour in drinks or desserts
Lemon Bergamot Intense citrus
Add to drinks and desserts or for tea
Nasturtium Sweet and peppery
Use to decorate salads and savoury dishes
Pansies Grassy wintergreen
Good in fruit salad
Primrose Mild floral
Add to salads or crystallise for decoration
Rose petals Fruity perfume
Use to infuse drinks or decorate desserts
Rosemary Intense rosemary
Use to decorate or add flavour
Sage Mild sage
Add to salads and savory dishes
Violet Sweet and perfumed
Decorate cakes desserts, drinks and salads
How to crystallise primroses
With thanks for Lovely Greens for this idea.

What you will need

  • Egg wash – lightly beat the white of one egg with a teaspoon of cold water

  • Edible flowers and leaves – e.g. Primrose flowers and Peppermint leaves
  • Sugar – fine textured white or brown granulated sugar will do. Icing/powdered sugar is not suitable. 



  • If you’re sure the flowers are clean then you don’t need to wash them. If you do rinse them, you must let the flowers dry completely before continuing.


  • Using a clean paintbrush that has never been in contact with potentially toxic substances (think oil paint), paint the egg wash on a flower. Make sure to coat the entire surface, both front and back.


  • Pour 1/4 cup of sugar into a bowl and once the flower is coated in egg wash, place the flower in with the sugar. Coat as much of the flower’s surface as you can then take it out and place the flower face-down on a tray lined with baking/kitchen paper. Leave to try for between 1-2 days; primroses take about a day to stiffen up but some of the thicker flowers and leaves will take longer.

    Paint primroses and other edible flowers with sugar to transform them into beautifully sweet decorations for desserts and cakes #lovelygreens #edibleflowers

    Paint a flower with the egg wash then dip it in sugar


  • Once hardened, use the flowers to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and desserts. They can last for up to a year if stored in a dark, dry place. These flowers are also so pretty that they’re perfect for decorating a spring cake or even being packaged up in tissue paper and given to a friend as a gift.

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