Five Edible Flowers You Can Forage

Did you know that there are a number of edible flowers?  Foraging flowers, whether in the wild or in the yard, is easy when you know what to look for. See below for five common edible flowers you can forage in the wild.

Oxeye Daisy


Oxeye daisies are fabulous for adapting to the flavor of whatever dish you are preparing. We first tried these battered and fried.  Prepared this way they didn't seem to have a strong flavor of their own. Nevertheless, we enjoyed eating them both with a savory and with a semi-sweet batter. One of my good friends and favorite foragers, Mary Banducci, has a paleo-friendly daisy fritter recipe on her page. Click here for her recipe.


We next tried oxeye daisies pickled. Again, they didn't have a strong flavor of their own - they just took on the flavor of the pickling brine (which is not surprising). Click here for the recipe we tried.


Oxeye daisies are very versatile. In addition to cooking and pickling the flowers, they can also be eaten raw. Flower buds can be used to make capers and leaves make a nice addition to salads.


We have dried both leaves and blossoms for tea, but since every part of the plant is edible, you can eat the flower, too.  Like the oxeye daisy, there are recipes to batter and fry dandelion flowers.  You can also add them to baked goods like breads. Here is one bread recipe I found that looks amazing. Dandelion flowers can also be used to make jelly and wine, both of which have a delightful light floral flavor that a friend describes as “liquid sunshine”. The root can be dried and used for tea.  Roasted dandelion root tea is one of my favorites and has been used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute. One of the biggest perks of dandelion is that it is good for your liver, so give your liver a little love and add a little dandelion to your life. 

Wild Rose

Roses have long been used in beauty products and fragrances, but did you know that they are edible as well? You can eat rose petals fresh. They add color, flavor, and vitamins to salads and lemonade (see the blog post about summer hydration here). Its petals can be used in drinks, infused in honey, infused in oil, dried for teas and recipes,or made into rosewater. Rose water is a common ingredient in baked goods such as Turkish delight, cakes, and cookies.  It also makes a nice addition to some savory dishes. See here for some ideas on cooking with roses.

Rose petals are not the only useful part of this plant. Rose hips can be collected in the fall and made into jelly and syrup, or dried for teas. Rose hips are known to be a good source of vitamin C.  In fact, during WWII, the British made rose hip syrup as a vitamin C supplement for their children when wartime rations did not provide much in the way of fresh fruit. (1)


Violas are one of my favorite flowers.  They come in so many colors and add a cheery touch to any yard or hillside.  They are also edible.  We have dried these for tea, but they make a lovely addition to a salad (both the flowers and leaves are edible) or as a garnish for a drink or dessert.  This article here  has a photo of some lovely lollipops they made with violas.


You have probably heard of elderberry syrup.  It is known for its ability to boost the immune system and shorten the duration of colds and flus. Did you know that the flower of the elderberry bush is also edible?  Do NOT eat these raw, as raw elderberry and elderflower contain a toxic chemical that is only destroyed when cooked. (2) I have yet to forage the flowers since I usually wait for the elderberries to make syrup. However, there a number of things you can do with elderflower. See this article for recipes for elderflower tempura, elderflower cordial, and more.







Note: Always be sure to properly identify all plants, forage from areas free from spray, and forage responsibly!