Several kinds of edible wildflowers can be foraged for meals. While some emerge only in specific climates---prickly pear cactus blooms and yucca flowers among them---many wild floral edibles reside in both warm and cold climates.
Shrub-like plants featuring edible flowers include the elderberry bush. Foragers use its large white flower for everything from wine to fritters. Wild roses can be gathered for teas and to flavor salads, desserts and vinegars.
Red and white clover flowers, chickweed flowers and violets can be used to flavor teas, garnish salads, and spice up desserts. Sweet woodruff, a woodland favorite, flowers in May and infuses a classic wine punch.
Daylily buds can be cooked and eaten like green beans, while petals from the opened flowers can be scattered in salads. Calendula and bee balm represent two other edibles found both in gardens and in the wild. Both make wonderful teas, salad ingredients and dessert garnishes.
Foraged plants that have edible flowers as well as nutritious leaves include chicory, arugula, mustard greens and even very young dandelions.
While everyone knows that mint gathered in the wild can be eaten, not as many people think to look for the plant in late summer, when lovely purple edible flowers emerge. Wild chives also boast edible purple flowers.
- Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants; "Wildman" Steve Brill; 1994
- Lasagna Gardening with Herbs; Patricia Lanza; 2004
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
floral edibles, edible wildflowers, flowering herbs, daylily buds
About this Author
Melissa Jordan-Reilly has been a writer for 20 years, both as a newspaper reporter and as an editor of nonprofit newsletters. Among the publications in which she has published are, "The Winsted Journal," "Taconic" and "Compass Magazine." A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Jordan-Reilly also pursues sustainable agriculture techniques and tends a market garden at her Northwestern Connecticut home.