Easy Edible Flowers to Grow

By Hannah Fung

Most flowers look pretty. But some are edible and make an excellent addition to meals and drinks. They can be added to salad or ice cream or jam, frozen in ice cubes, folded into omelettes, or added to cold summer soups just to name a few ways to spice things up. 

All the flowers listed below are suitable to grow in Sydney’s temperate climate. And the best part? They’re easy to grow! Read on to find out what these flowers taste like and what they go best with and the benefits they offer. 

Annual Flowers

Annual flowers: Flowers that germinate, flower, set seed, and die all in one season.

Nasturtiums:

Nasturtiums have a sweet yet spicy taste, much like radishes. They taste great when sprinkled in potato salad; they can also be stuffed like zucchini flowers then steamed or fried. They’re also high in vitamin C.


Calendulas:

The colourful petals of Calendulas have a sweet floral taste. Calendulas can also be used as a substitute for saffron as they taste like the expensive herb when sautéed in olive oil. That’s why they’re also known as “poor man’s saffron”. They taste great when added to rice or casseroles or when tossed in salads. And they’re packed with antioxidants and have numerous health benefits! However, remember to remove the green parts from the petals of the flower as they’re bitter. 


French marigold:

French Marigold flowers are quite bitter but can be a great complement to sweet dishes like stewed and poached fruit. They’re also stronger in flavour than Calendulas so use them sparingly. However, like Calendulas, they’re high in antioxidants. And they also have green parts (including those at the base of the petals) that don’t taste nice, so remember to remove them!


Sweet Alyssum:

Sweet Alyssums have a slightly sweet and peppery flavour similar to kale. They taste great when added to salads, smoothies and soups. Plus they’re packed with nutrients that help prevent kidney disease.


Hoary Stock:

Hoary Stocks taste a lot like pepper or zest added to radishes. They taste great when added to salads or used as a garnish or other things you’d usually add radishes to. It has traditionally been used to treat cancer.


Perennial Flowers:

Perennial Flowers: Flowers that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring. These flowers live for three growing seasons or more. 

Dianthus (a.k.a. carnations):

Dianthus have a taste much like cloves. They taste great when added to ice cream, fruit salads, soup and seafood; they’re also a great complement to stir fries. Pharmacological studies have revealed that the plant possesses anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, insecticidal, repellent, antioxidant, reno-protective, anaesthetic and analgesic effects. 


Lavender:

Yes, the popular lavender is easy to grow! Everyone knows lavenders smell great - but they also taste great. They have a floral taste with hints of mint and rosemary. They taste great when added to biscuits, cakes, custard, ice-cream, jam, jelly, scones, shortbread, sorbet and a lot of other desserts. They also nicely complement lamb, just like rosemary which is part of the same family as lavender. Even better, there are numerous health benefits to eating lavender in small quantities: it increases your intake of vitamins and minerals; it helps to alleviate stress and insomnia and helps to detoxify the body. 


Sources

Other interesting related posts

Lavender recipes: https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-use-lavender-what-to-bake-with-lavender-sweets-recipes#:~:text=On%20its%20own%2C%20lavender%20has,the%20perfect%20flavoring%20for%20spring.