list of vegetable crops: iv. examples of flower and seed vegetables

Below is a table containing a partial list of vegetable crops grown in different parts of the world. Specifically, the list provides examples of flower vegetables and seed vegetables. These are crop plants from which edible flowers (flowers or entire inflorescences)  and seeds are commonly used in the preparation of vegetable dishes. These plant organs, as well as fruits, are reproductive parts rather than vegetative (the root, stem, and leaves).

List of vegetable crops consisting of flower and seed vegetables.The inflorescence buds of broccoli and cauliflower are often cooked sliced into small segments

The examples given for flower vegetables are not exhaustive.

In addition to those highlighted by Peel (2004) under major types of vegetables, the following were also listed as having edible flowers: viola (Viola odorata), nasturtium (Tropaaeolum majus), calendula (Calendula officinalis), carnation (Dianthus spp.), daisy (Bellis perennis), elderflower, roses, and sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

To further view a list of plants with edible flowers, click here.

The same goes for the list of vegetables with edible seeds. Take note also that with the exception of corn or maize the listed seed vegetables are legumes. 

Click here to read terminology on types of vegetables.

Table LV-5. List of vegetable crops which are sources of edible flowers and seeds for culinary use.



Artichoke, globe artichoke Cynara scolymus Asteraceae/Compositae Sunflower or Aster family
Broccoli scientific name is being verified Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Mustard family; inflorescence buds are the edible parts.
Cauliflower scientific name is being verified Brassicaceae/Cruciferae Mustard family; inflorescence buds are the edible parts.
Cooking banana, plantain, cardava Musa sp. Musaceae Banana family; largely grown for mature fruits but the male inflorescence is used as an ingredient in the preparation of many vegetable dishes; timely removal of the male inflorescence from developing fruit bunches is an established practice in banana plantations.
West Indian pea, agati, katuray Sesbania grandiflora Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family, also called Legumes; newly opened flowers are harvested


Corn, maize Zea mays Poaceae/Gramineae Grass Family; succulent seeds are often scraped from young ears. Includes the thin outer enveloping part of each seed which is botanically a fruit.
Cowpea, Black-eyed pea scientific name is being verified Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family, also called Legumes
Fava bean Vicia faba Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Lima bean, patani Phaseolus lunatus Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Hyacinth bean, bataw Dolichos lablab syn. Lablab purpureus Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Kidney bean Phaseolus vulgaris Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Mung bean, mungbean, mungo Vigna radiata Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Pea, garden pea, snap pea Pisum sativum Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
Pigeon pea, kadios Cajanus cajan Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family
String bean, stringbean, pole sitao, yardlong bean Vigna unguiculata Fabaceae/Leguminosae Bean/Pea family, succulent seeds are often extracted from semi-mature pods


  1. HILL A. 1972. Economic Botany. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd. 560 p.
  2. PEEL L. 2004. HarperCollins Practical Gardener: Kitchen Garden. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 176 p.
  3. SIMPSON MG. 2010. Plant Systematics. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Inc. 740 p.
  4. The Essential Gardening Encyclopedia. 2003. San Francisco, CA: Fog City Press. 608 p.

(Ben G. Bareja June 20, 2015, edited May 4, 2019)

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