Plants with Edible Flowers

edcercis (299x300)Cercis canadensis – Eastern Redbud is a medium-sized tree (usually multi-stemmed) with heart-shaped leaves and rosy-pink pea-like blooms that appear on bare stems before the foliage emerges. The flowers have a nutty bean-like taste (some say it is more like tart apple) and can be pickled as a capers substitute. Slowly grows to 30′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 5.

ednastbanansplit (300x288)Tropaeolum majus BANANA SPLIT – This variety of Nasturtium bears pale yellow flowers with orange highlights on the throat and rounded green foliage. Both the flowers and young leaves have a sharp peppery taste somewhat similar to watercress and are high in vitamins A and C. Nasturtiums are easily grown from seed. Grows 10-12″ high by 18-24″ wide. Hardy to zone 9.

edalceaqueenypurple (300x287)Alcea rosea ‘Queeny Purple’ – A very compact Hollyhock that was a 2004 AAS winner and features large purple anemone-form blooms (3 to 4″ wide) with fringed petals in summer. The flowers are not strongly flavoured and a bit bitter, so are best used as garnish. The young foliage can be stuffed with rice much like edible grape leaves. Grows 20-30″ high by 12-20″ wide. Zone 3.

edsorbetdelight300Viola cornuta ‘Sorbet Orange Delight’ – A Perennial Pansy or Horned Violet that is often used for cool-season bedding with bright orange five-petaled flowers (accented by dark purple whiskers) from early spring until the heat of summer. The flowers have a sweet floral taste (with a hint of wintergreen) that can be stronger than Viola odorata. Grows 6-8″ high by 10″. Zone 5.

edpineapple (295x300)Acca sellowiana (syn. Feijoa sellowiana) – Pineapple Guava is a tender evergreen shrub (native to Brazil) with simple greyish green leaves (silvery reverse) and showy flowers with white and pink petals and reddish stamens. These make a great addition to fruit salads with their fleshy texture and exotic melon and papaya flavours. Grows 6′ high by 8′ wide. Hardy to zone 8.

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