*Ten Rules of Edible Flowers for Edible Flower Recipes*

1. Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible.
2. Just because flowers are served with food does not mean they are edible. (See rule #1)
3. Eat only the flowers that have been grown organically.
4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers unless you know they have been grown organically (see rule #3).
5. If you have hay fever, asthma or allergies, do not eat flowers, or do so cautiously, (see rule #7 & #10).
6. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. They may be contaminated from car emissions (see rule #3).
7. Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Eat only the petals.
8. Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous.
9. There are many varieties of any one flower. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.
10. Introduce flowers into your diet the way you would new foods to a baby- one at a time in small quantities.

*(This list is from Edible Flowers, From Garden to Palate, by Cathy Wilkinson Barash)

Our family and edible flowers go way back.  It was 1990,  Farmer D smothered the front lawn under a layer of newspapers and mulch and then the rains came, lots of it!  It was an “El Nino” year.   The grass was dead and the mulch slowly turning into dirt so Farmer D encouraged us to be “Johnny Wild Flower Seed”

We went to the nursery and bought some wild flower and nasturtium seeds and thanks to the rains the front yard turned from brown to a colorful mosaic of stunning colors.

I can remember eating my first edible flower as a teenager – I was hooked, pretty and edible!  Better yet, these flowers have a language of their own.

In Victorian times, certain flowers had specific meanings because the flower selection was limited and people used more symbols and gestures to communicate than words.

The peppery nasturtium hints of “patriotism” and lavender conjugates “distrust.”

It was about that time we read that a local tea shop was serving edible flowers with their tea sandwiches.  We looked out at our front yard teaming with nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, carnation and violas and thought to ourselves “people pay for this stuff?”    So we gave the tea shop a ring and well, the rest is history.  That was the start of DerVaes Gardens and we’ve been providing fresh produce, edible flowers and herbs from our garden to folks ever since.

Flower cookery has been traced back to Roman times, and to the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. Edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria’s reign.

To celebrate spring, this coming Mother’s Day DerVaes Gardens is offering, from our front porch farmstand, a variety of edible flower collections – from salads with a handful of edible flowers, rose jams, herb butters, vinegars or just a selected assortment of edible flower “confetti” to decorate cakes, cupcakes and more!

Don’t forget, you can floral up your cooking and baking too!

What’s your favorite edible flower, recipe?  Care to share?

:: Recipes ::

Best Edible Flower Recipes Ever

Edible Flower Recipes

:: Resources ::

History of Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers

Edible Flower Chart

Attra Publication: Edible Flowers


  1. Audra says:

    I just seeded my first Hanging Pot with edible Nasturtiums and I can’t wait to try them! I have a whole list of flower seeds, all Heirlooms, that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
    I can’t wait to show my 5-year-old the picture of the cake. He is the biggest Strawberry fan in the whole world, I wonder what he would think of flowers with it!
    Thank you for the inspiration, happy gardening!

  2. Laura @ Getting There says:

    I have never tried eating a flower, and I admit I am a bit nervous about the idea. I guess I have this fear that it would taste perfumey. I will try it though if I ever have the chance!

  3. Kris says:

    That cake looks SO delicious! So does the salad! I live in the pacific NW and just saw my first nasturtium seedling popping up in the garden (from where the seed must’ve dropped last year). That’s the one truly great thing about nasturtiums — they reseed so easily and prolifically! Last year I had to give away dozens of nasturtium seedlings because if I hadn’t dug them up they would have taken over my entire garden. If you ever want to share your recipe for nasturtium “capers” that would be lovely!

  4. Janice says:

    Gorgeous Nasturtiums, and what a beautiful cake! I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the taste of Nastrutiums…it’s something of an acquired taste. I don’t mind pansies or violas, and Pineapple guava petals are like candy! Our Pineapple guava tree produces fruit, but the fruit rots off before it gets yummy, not sure why…but the flowers are sure tasty!

  5. Hazel says:

    I pickle nasturtium seeds by rinsing and drying the pods and covering them in a clean jar with spiced vinegar (commercial if I’m rushed, otherwise I spice it myself). That’s it! But in the UK we don’t waterbath jams, chutneys or pickles, so you may want to do whatever you would normally do to a pickle afterwards :0) I’m happy that the vinegar is strong enough to be the preservative. You can also salt the pods first, before covering with vinegar.
    Nasturtium flower sandwiches are tasty (I find the flowers less peppery than the leaves). Think English teatime sandwiches rather than a US sub- thinly sliced bread, butter and the flowers. Cutting off the crusts and cutting into triangles is optional…

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