Looking for edible flowers that are both lovely to look at and great to eat? These edible perennial flowers are pretty and easy to grow. Leave them in your garden for the butterflies, or bring them indoors for yourself — either way you get a gorgeous garden that tastes great.
5 Must-Have Edible Flowers
These edible flowers are a must have for the city garden that moonlights as a kitchen garden or butterfly garden.
Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) are hardy perennial edible flowers that are valued for both their greens (when used as an herb) and their pretty, white flowers (when used for decoration and cooking). Tasty and easy to use, garlic chives have a mild flavor that's well-suited to both kitchen gardens and butterfly gardens. Eat these pretty, purple perennials in soups, salads and homemade Asian recipes. Or, just leave them in your garden and snack on them there!
A hardy perennial with edible flowers, day lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) are loved by some and hated by just as many others (probably because they are so common — which speaks to how easily they grow and thrive). Those haters probably don't realize that you can eat the flowers, which come in a truly amazing range of colors and cultivars. While you can find these dried edible flowers at Asian markets, it's just as easy to grow your own. A quick snip in your garden and you'll have a breathtaking garnish for salads and fancy bakery (just imagine a wedding caked tiered with these edible beauties). What a wonderfully common way to add a touch of the exotic.
Your grandma's favorite flower, roses are edible perennials that produce gorgeous flowers you can eat (which makes sense since they're related to apples). And it's not just the flowers you can eat, their rose hips are edible too. (Not sure what a rose hip is? It's the bulging seed pod that grows on rose stalks.) Another contender for "best way to garden up your wedding cake," there are also plenty of rose recipes available online. Otherwise, like other edible flowers, they're fantastic sprinkled on salads and eaten with fruits.
Quite possibly my favorite flower you can eat, beebalm (Monarda didyma, also called wild bergamot, wild Oswego tea, and horsemint) is an edible perennial with a wonderfully distinct look and taste. With a flavor that's herbal but minty (like spearmint, peppermint and oregano), beebalm makes an incredible addition to a kitchen garden that's out to please the bees and butterflies too. Use this edible perennial flower to make teas, bread and lip balm. (What a cool, homemade gift any of those would be!)
Beautiful and fragrant, lavender (genus Lavandula) is a lovely edible perennial that produces dainty purple flowers that you can eat. Plus, it looks absolutely amazing in the garden and is incredibly easy to grow. A well-loved edible perennial, there are plenty of lavender recipes around, including those for lavender chicken, lemonade, dips and even lavender bread pudding! And don't forget to use it in tea!
Looking for more flowers you can eat? Here's a list of annual edible flowers for you to snack on.
(Images graciously supplied by beckstei, aerogurl, dhester, gramody, marmit and Ulf Eliasson. Thanks!)