Edible Flowers

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I was delighted to find this box of fresh mixed edible flowers at a supermarket recently. This is an unusual find as we (Asian) do not normally use these flowers for cooking or garnishing. They are not cultivated here and were grown and packed in the highlands.

What interests me is the Dianthus flower that's in the box. I recognised it very quickly as I have just bought a few pots for my garden. What a coincidence!

I was really curious of the taste. So when I reached home, I head straight to the pot of Dianthus and clipped a flower.



I thought that the flower would be sweet as I learnt that they are sometimes called Sweet William. It wasn't at all. The flower tasted a bit peppery and is quite mild. Well, I think if they are added into a bowl of salad, they could properly make the food look more pleasing and appetising but will not add much flavour. What do you think?


Over here, Dianthus is commonly known as Carnation.



Dianthus Chinensis is from the family Caryophyllaceae and are suitable to be grown in tropical climate. I placed these plants out in the open to receive full sunlight throughout the day. They have not stopped flowering since I bought them two weeks ago.

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30 comments

  1. Now I have a reason to grow flowers! I knew you could eat the squash blossoms already, now I need to further investigate this edible flower situation.

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  2. They would make a pretty salad but somehow I cannot think about eating the beauties.LOL! Silly I know because people around here eat pumpkin and squash blooms and dandelion greens.

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  3. Hallo Stephanie
    Blumen im Salat sind lecker! Die Meisten schmecken bischen pfefferig. Ich mach das sehr gern und der Besuch freut sich.
    Endlich wird es auch hier warm und die Sonne scheint schön bei 16 Grad.
    Im Garten gibt es jetzt sehr viel zu tun und den Salat hab ich ausgesät.

    liebe Grüße Dörte

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  4. I find flowers in my sallad more decorative then tasty, but why not. Food allways taste better when my eyes also are satisfeid. Dianthus I never treid, perhaps it will be on my plate this summer :)

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  5. Did the packet has any instructions on how to use it? The dianthus has quite a no. of colour choices and they are pretty and sweet.

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  6. We are so used to eating "bunga sawi" and "bunga kucai"....

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  7. Nasturtiums taste peppery. Tiny sprinkle of lavender florets is enough. Otherwise edible flowers are for the eye, and phytonutrients.

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  8. I like your different colors of Dianthus flowers. They are so pretty, I couldn't bring myself to eat them. :)

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  9. There are many edible flowers: Moringa, Feijoa (delicious), Nasturtium...

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  10. I really love edible flowers. At first, I was a bit thrown off by the idea. But soon my step mother, who loves gardening, let me try a few. They are wuite delicious.

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  11. Society garlic flowers are good too... I hope to see flowers on my feijoa someday.

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  12. Good to know that dianthus flowers are edible. Nasturtium flowers are also edible.

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  13. Thanks for the tour! It gave me an idea to intermingle edible and ornamental plants next year.

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  14. I have been munching on my hibiscus flowers whenever they flower. I had a chance to taste the blue pea flower (chruncy).
    What are those flowers in the container -those white & yellow ones - are they roses?

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  15. It's a shame to 'harvest' the flowers and deprive the bees and butterflies of their nectar. Human greed is insatiable!

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  16. Autumn Belle, sorry, I didn't pick up the box to check if there are instructions. In fact I didn't even check the price.

    James, those are pansy. I am still afraid of munching hibiscus. Like what Dianne said here, just couldn't bring myself to eat them ;-)

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  17. dear steph.. i should bring some seeds for you to grow all the edible flowers when i am back this summer... like nasturtium, violets etc. what do you think? shall we meet up somewhere in a beautiful garden center or orchid center in KL?

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  18. Hi Steph, this is new to me! But they'll look ever so good in a bowl of salad. Your blooms are very pretty!

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  19. Great info (as always) and beautiful flowers!

    I have sown Dianthus seeds and they are small seedling at the moment waiting to be transplanted. May be this lazy gardener will do her job this weekend

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  20. Hi Stephanie, I sometimes use edible flowers from the herbgarden to garnish a salad. I always plant punnets of Dianthus, I love their colours and growth habit in pots and baskets. sometimes they do set seed and scatter it into the garden. I did not know that the petals are edible. As we are going towards winter it is time to plant them again. Thanks for this information, very interesting.

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  21. try to slice some apples and add some green salad and a splash of good vinegar and olive oil... the pairing of apples and flowers will balance the peppery taste.

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  22. Believe me, I was very cautious about picking flowers to consume them. But because hibiscus bloom in my garden under my care, I was certain that they are free from all toxic stuff.
    Regardless, if you do have a hibiscus flower do just try one petal - and if you don't like - you can spit it away.
    If I blindfold you - you will not even know the difference of the taste between a salad leaf and a hibiscus.
    I only got bold when Autumn Belle mentioned that they are edible.

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  23. As a child we used to nibble on begonia petals and many more flowers. Begonias are tangy and have a good flavour for salads and sandwiches. I know that you can make a tea from hibiscus flowers.

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  24. Hello everyone, thanks for your suggestions and comments! It is interesting to know that they are so many other edible flowers. Ok, maybe I should try again and also add edible flowers into salads, tea or sandwiches as some of you have suggested. Have a great weekend.

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  25. May be we can make jam with dianthus flowers too? I had a jar of rose jam before. It smelled sooooo... rosy haha :)

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  27. The only flower I consume regularly is chrysanthemum tea... and all the other flower teas. Very rare finding it in the supermarket! My Dianthus died after a few weeks :(

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  28. Hi Stephanie, I didn't know dianthus blooms were edible - very cool! I'm growing nasturtiums for the first time this year, and I know I'm going to have to taste them at some point.

    I watched the movie "Monsoon Wedding" a few months ago, and learned marigolds were edible too. I might plant some in my veggie beds this year, and I might have to taste one too.

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  29. Sandy, Deborah, Garden girl, maybe we should try all flowers that are edible to see which one taste the best :-)

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