More and more people are interested in foraging for their food, and there are plenty of edible wildflowers to be found! Wildflowers offer us an abundance of gorgeous, free, nutrient packed food that we can stumble upon or seek when we spend time in nature. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most popular edible wildflowers and where and when you may find them. And once you do find them, we have so many resources on how to use them! Like this comprehensive guide to making your own wildflower honey.
Before we dig in to the flowers, here are our tips:
How to responsibly forage flowers:
Responsible foraging means
- Never forage plants that are endangered or rare
- Only take what you need, and what you can sustainable get to without damaging the plant.
- Leave plenty of flowers for bees and others
- Consider growing your own pollinator garden filled with edible flowers
- If you are foraging in nature, use a plant identification app, which helps people identify harmful vs harmless plant species so they don't get sick from trying new things while hiking through nature. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.
- Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside, chemically treated lawns, or areas with lots of animals.
- If you haven't tried a particular flower in culinary uses, taste a small piece of the petal before consuming a whole petal. You can be allergic to flowers. Use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate.
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Dandelions (Taraxacum officinalis)
The dandelion plant is a common herb that can be found growing all over the world. It's great to grow in your garden, because many find it difficult to harvest safely (not close to a roadway, or in an area without many animals). Dandelion is common in pastures, lawns, orchards, hay fields. In fact, come spring time - it's likely you'll see them pop up all over. The roots of this edible flower have been used for many years as medicine and its flowers taste sweet like honey. Can be used in anything, from salad, herbal chicken stock, lemonade or tea.
Wood sorrel (Rumex acetone)
If you love the tangy taste of lemons, then sorrel is a flower for your palate. It has tart flavors that are refreshing and good on pizza or in sauces to add some excitement! You will likely spot sorrel in late spring, In woodland or hedgerows.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
Gorgeous with a sweet honey flavor. Only the flowers are edible, avoid the berries which are poisonous. The beautiful flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Honeysuckle is a climbing plant, which is hard to miss, and often where it twines itself around other shrubs and trees.
Lilac (Syrringa vulgaris)
Very fragrant floral taste, beautiful candied or infused in honey. Wild lilac can be found in hedgerows and along woodlands. Lilacs offer good summer shade after they have reached several feet tall. Lilacs can be used for anything from a beautiful syrup to a delicious dessert garnish. You may also
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)
Sweet and spicy flavor, often used in savory appetizers and to garnish any and everything. They do well in poor soil and repel common garden pests. The wild variety is trailing and will climb up trees and steep hillsides. We love nasturtiums in our Edible Flower Summer Rolls and Vibrant Edible Flower Salad.
Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)
Incredibly easy to grow and beautiful in everything you add it to. Enjoy our popular Garden pansy salad. Wild pansy can be spotted in meadows and fields.
Wild Rose (Rosa rugosa)
The flavor of these flowers is reminiscent to that of strawberries and tart green apples. It is common in open ares and clearings. Darker varieties have a more prominent taste than their lighter counterparts, but all roses are edible. You will love How to make rose lemonade, rose petal candy, rose infused honey, diy rose water, rose syrup, rose tea, or rose petal jam.
Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
A family-friendly snack that's filled with protein and nutrients, sunflower seeds make an excellent option. Cooked and salted, they make a tasty snack anywhere you are or can be shelled to mix into your favorite salad. They grow tall and love the sun, which makes them perfect for filling in the backs of garden beds or for building a fun tall structure for your children in the backyard. The flower tastes similar to artichokes. You can spot wild sunflower in large open fields.
Violets (Viola species)
Violets are often a sign of early spring and are found in shady areas with moist soil. Violets are versatile and can be candied and used to decorate cakes or made into violet jelly. You can use violets as a ground cover for your lawn, helping to add a pop of color long before many other flowers begin to bloom.
Elderflower Blossoms (Sambucus spp)
Elderflowers belong to the olive family and are beautiful flowering plants. Flowers such as these are highly fragrant and can be used in backyards and landscaping. The flowers, leaves, berries, bark and roots have all been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries. Elderflower grows as an ornamental shrub or small tree in primarily sunny locations. Elderflowers are commonly foraged to make elderflower simple syrup, and you may enjoy our delicious lemon elderflower cake.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Bee balm is an annual plant that can be found in the mint family. It is often spotted in areas with full sunlight. The taste of this herb resembles oregano and mint, but with citrusy undertones from lemon to orange when consumed as tea or salads dressing up your food dish! Bee balm is extremely popular among home gardeners too because these plants don't require much maintenance whatsoever.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Borage can grow wild in woodlands and pastures. Blossoms and leaves have a cool, faint cucumber taste. Wonderful in punches, lemonade, gin and tonics, sorbets, chilled soups, cheese tortas, and dips. You will love this cucumber borage gin and tonic or cucumber borage salad.
Forget me not (Myosotis)
A pretty plant with bright blue flowers, forget me not flowers can be found along woodland and sometimes in hegerows.