Dr. Joe Masabni
Department of Horticulture
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Calendulas (pot-marigolds), carnations (pinks), chamomile, chrysanthemums, dandelions, daylilies, gardenias, geraniums, gladiolus, lavenders, lilies, nasturtiums, pansies, peonies, primroses, roses, squash blossoms, sweet violets and yucca blossoms have different edible portions that are nutritious and tasty. Some flowers are not edible, but many are and can be chosen for their desirable uses. Buds, flowers, leaves, stems and roots are selected from designated edible varieties.
Select common edible flower varieties. Follow all planting and fertilization practices used for garden flowers. Use organic pesticide practices because of label restrictions. Use separate growing areas for edible flowers, and do not plant other annuals or perennials in these areas because pesticides cannot be used legally.
Fresh, quality, whole flowers of gladiolus, roses, squash, pansies and lilies are now sold at farmer’s markets as edible flowers along with nasturtiums and yucca blossoms. When portions of edible flowers are desired, pull petals or edible portion from fresh flower and snip off the petal from the base of the flower. Remember to always wash flowers thoroughly and make certain all chemical or organic pesticide has been removed. Give them a gentle bath in salt water and then dip the petals in ice water to perk them up. Drain on paper towels. For later marketing, petals and whole flowers may be stored a short time in plastic bags in refrigeration. Freeze whole small flowers in ice rings or cubes.