Which Flowers Are Edible?
Flowers are more than just a colorful addition to your landscape. Flowers are an important food source for pollinators such as honeybees and some varieties are also edible to people. You can liven up your yard as well as your dinner plate by including edible flowers in your garden.
Plants with edible flowers include annuals, which are planted each season, as well as perennials, which come back year after year from their roots. Fall is great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Some perennials with edible flowers you could add to your garden this fall include daylilies, bee balm, Agastache, and Dianthus. Annuals you can plant for winter include pansies and violas; flowers of these winter bloomers have a light, floral taste and look great in salads and desserts (Note: pansy and viola flowers are also favorites of deer and rabbits!). Many herbs and vegetables have edible flowers as well, so don’t limit your harvesting to just leaves and fruits.
Before eating the flowers of any plant make sure you know their identity and that they are safe to eat. Also, only eat flowers you know have not been treated with pesticides. Learn more about which varieties of flowers are edible and how to grow and safely use them from this great new publication from N.C. Cooperative Extension: Choosing and Using Edible Flowers, available online here: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/choosing-and-using-edible-flowers-ag-790.pdf
Want to check if a plant is poisonous to people? Visit the NCCE Plants Database: http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/category/poisonous-plants/
For plants poisonous to pets and livestock, see http://harvest.cals.ncsu.edu/applications/plant_biology/poisonous/ .
Use Extension Search to find research based information from Cooperative Extension systems across the U.S.
Visit your local Cooperative Extension office to learn more about gardening and landscape care. Go to https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/local-county-center/ to find your county Extension center or post your questions to be answered online via Extension’s ‘Ask an Expert’ widget.
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