Gardentalk – How to eat your flowerbed

Beebom, nasturtium, and begonia flowers ready for eating.
Beebalm, nasturtium and begonia flowers ready for eating. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Flowers from ornamental plants and even garden vegetables are much more than just pretty. They’re tasty, too.

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski said beebalm, nasturtium and begonia flowers are a great addition to any salad.

Calendulas, pansies, johnny jump ups and violets also produce edible flowers.

From the vegetable garden, flowers from bolting radishes, turnips and broccoli can actually taste quite sweet. Buyarski said he stuffs squash blossoms and dips them in a batter before frying.

“I would advise that folks be growing these with clean soil and probably organic fertilizers,” Buyarski said.

He cautions against eating flowers from plants that were purchased from a retailer. You’ll probably never know what kind of fertilizer or pesticides were used by the nursery.

Listen to the Aug. 8 edition of “Gardentalk” about edible flowers.

Buyarski also notes that some flowers, like buttercups and anything from the buttercup family, are just plain poisonous. Other poisonous flowers you should avoid eating include peonies, delphiniums, monkshood or wolfsbane, columbine and foxglove.

Beebom, nasturtium, and begonia flowers liven up what would've been a routine and forgettable salad.
Nasturtium and begonia flowers, and beebalm flowers and leaves, liven up what would’ve been a routine and forgettable salad. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

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