examples of crop plants that produce edible flower

An edible flower is just one of the unique, less known uses of plants. However, it should not be a surprise to find flowers that can be eaten or ingested in some manner. After all, they are modified shoot and there are plenty of edible stems and leaves.

A list of selected crop plants each capable of producing flowers that are edible is provided below. For more information, including the usable parts and how they are used, you may start with the references listed hereunder. The scientific names will be useful also in finding details about any plant.

Table EF-1. Examples of crops that produce edible flowers (mainly from Peel [2004] and Newman and O’Connor [2012]).

Scientific Name

Abelmoschus esculentus

Allium spp.

Anethum graveolens

Anthemis nobilis

Bellis perennis

Borago officinalis

Brassica spp.

Calendula officinalis

Cichorium intybus

Clitoria ternatea

Cucurbita spp.

Cynara scolymus

Dianthus spp.

Eruca vesicaria

Foeniculum vulgare

Hemerocallis fulva

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Humulus lupulus

Hyssopus officinalis

Lavandula angustifolia

Monarda didyma

Moringa oleifera

Musa spp.

Ocimum basilicum

Phaseolus spp., ex. P. coccineus

Pisum spp., ex. P. sativum

Rosa spp.

Rosmarinus officinalis

Sambucus nigra

Sesbania grandiflora

Thymus spp.

Tropaeolum majus

Viola odorata

Viola tricolor

Common Names

Okra, gumbo, gombo

Onions

Dill

Chamomile

Daisy

Borage

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Mustard

Calendula, pot marigold

Chicory

Blue ternate, Pukingan

Squash, Kalabasa, Pumpkin

Artichoke, Globe artichoke

Dianthus or pinks

Arugula

Fennel

Daylily

Hibiscus, Gumamela, China rose

Hop, Common hop

Hyssop

Lavender

Bergamot, Bee balm, Oswego tea

Moringa, malunggay, kamunggay

Plantain, Banana, Saging

Basil, Sangig, Balanoy

Beans, ex. Scarlet runner bean

Peas, ex. garden pea

Roses

Rosemary

Elderflower, Elder

Giant sesbania, Katuray, Gaway-gaway

Thyme

Nasturtium

Violet, Sweet violet

Heartsease, Pansy or Johnny Jump-Up

(Disclaimer: This list is for information purposes only in relation to angiosperms and plant structure. Although the author has had personal knowledge of and still continues to take nourishment from food that includes some botanical flowers, he does not recommend nor promote, either express or implied, any flower or part thereof for consumption.)

REFERENCES

NEWMAN SE, O’CONNOR AS. 2012. Edible flowers. Retrieved Oct. 15, 2012 from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07237.html.

PEEL L. 2004. Kitchen Garden: What to Grow and How to Grow It. HarperCollins Practical Gardener. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 176 p.

(Ben G. Bareja Oct. 2012)

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