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Dallas Morning News - March 12, 2020

Edible Landscape Plants


Gardeners can blend food crops and herbs into their ornamental landscaping. A major part of this concept is to use plants with edible flowers as well as other edible parts. It’s actually possible to create beautiful landscapes that contain nothing but edible and useful plants. Here's a menu of some of the best choices.


Shade Trees:
Ginkgo - tea from leaves and edible nuts
Jujube - fruit
Little Leaf Linden - tea from flowers
Mulberry - fruit
Pecan - edible nuts
Persimmon (native) - fruit
Walnut - edible nuts


Ornamental Trees:
Apple - fruit and edible flowers
Apricot - fruit and edible flowers
Citrus - edible fruit, flowers and leaves for tea
Crabapple - fruit and edible flowers
Fig - fruit
Mexican plum - fruit for jellies and jams
Paw paw - fruit
Peach - fruit and edible flowers
Pear - fruit and edible flowers
Persimmon (Japanese) - fruit
Plum - fruit and edible flowers
Redbud - edible flowers
Rusty blackhaw viburnum - berries and flowers for teas


Pomegranate flowers and fruit are edible

Pomegranate ready to harvest


Agarita - fruit for wine, jellies and jams
Althea - edible flower petals
Bay - leaves for tea and food seasoning
Osmanthus - flowers and fruit for teas
Pomegranate - edible flowers and fruit
Turk’s cap - flowers and fruit for tea


Flowers of Hibiscus, Althea, and Okra are all edible

Flowers of common fruits are also edible


Arugula – edible flowers and leaves
Begonias - edible flowers
Daylilies - edible buds and flowers
Dianthus - edible flowers
Ginger - food seasoning and tea from roots
Hibiscus - edible flower petals
Johnny jump-ups - edible flowers
Nasturtium - edible leaves, buds and flowers
Pansies - edible flowers
Peanuts - edible nuts
Purslane and Portulaca - edible leaves, flowers and stems
Sunflower - edible seeds and flower petals


Roots of jicama are edible, but the top of the viney plant is toxic


Beans and peas - edible pods and seed
Gourds - edible flower petals
Grapes - edible fruit and leaves for tea and dolmas
Jicama - edible roots
Loofah - edible flowers, shoots and young fruits
Malabar spinach - edible foliage
Passion flower - edible fruit and tea from leaves


Ground Covers:
Clover - tea from leaves and flowers
Creeping thyme - teas and food flavoring
Mints - food and teas from flowers and leaves
Oregano - teas and food flavoring
Violets - leaves in salads and tea from flowers and leaves


Flowers, foliage, and stems of purslane and portulaca are edible

Rosemary flowers and foliage are edible


Anise hyssop - edible flowers and foliage for tea
Blackberries - edible berries, foliage for tea
Chives - edible foliage and flowers
Elderberry - edible flowers and fruit (Leaves, stems, bark and roots are toxic)
Garlic - edible flowers, greens and cloves
Hibiscus - edible flower petals
Hoja santa - leaves for flavoring meats and other foods
Jerusalem artichoke - roots for food
Lavender - leaves and flowers for tea
Oxalis - leaves & flowers
Monarda - flowers and leaves for tea
Peppers - fruit and tea from fruit
Purple coneflower - all plant parts for tea
Rosemary - food seasoning and tea from leaves and flowers
Roses - petals and hips for teas and salads
Salvia - edible flowers, foliage for teas
Sweet marigold - leaves and flowers for tea and garnish
Turk’s cap - flowers & fruit for tea


Of course, not all plants are edible - some are poisonous, either naturally or from toxic chemical pesticides. Pregnant women should avoid all strong herbs and no plant should be ingested in excess by anyone at anytime. For detailed information on this important subject and all these plants, look at my book Herbs for Texas.





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