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Edible Flowers and Landscaping Newsletter


Edible Flowers and Landscaping

Dianthus Jujube

I encourage gardeners to blend food crops and herbs into their landscaping. A major part of this concept is to use plants with edible flowers as well as other edible parts. Here are some precautions for avoiding eating the wrong thing.
  1. Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous, either naturally or from the use of toxic chemicals. It’s important to learn the difference and eat flowers only when you are positive they are safely edible and non-toxic.
  2. Eat only flowers that have been grown organically. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers unless you know they’ve been maintained organically. Also do not eat flowers growing on the side of the road.
  3. Be very careful eating flowers and landscape plants if you have hay fever, asthma or allergies.
  4. Remove the reproductive parts of flowers from large flowers before eating and eat only the petals. The pistils and stamens can be bitter and even slightly toxic.
  5. Introduce flowers and herbs in general into your diet the way you would new foods to a baby - one at a time in small quantities.
Note: Pregnant women should avoid all strong herbs and no plant should be ingested in excess by anyone at anytime. Edible flowers can be used to enhance food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can also be used in teas. Here are some of the best edible landscaping choices:

Pecan tree
  • Ginkgo - tea from leaves
  • Jujube - fruit
  • Linden - tea from flowers
  • Mulberry - fruit
  • Pecan - edible nuts
  • Persimmon - fruit
  • Walnut - edible nuts

Meyer lemon

  • 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
  • Peach - fruit and edible flowers
  • Pear - fruit and edible flowers
  • Persimmon - fruit
  • Plum - fruit and edible flowers
  • Redbud - edible flowers
  • Rusty blackhaw viburnum - edible berries and flowers for teas
  • Witch hazel - tea from leaves


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

Turk's cap

  • Anise hyssop - edible flowers, foliage for tea
  • Blackberries - edible berries, foliage for tea
  • Chives - edible foliage and flowers
  • 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, 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


  • Begonias - edible flowers
  • Daylilies - edible 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 - edible leaves and flowers
  • Sunflower - edible seeds and flower petals

Vegetable Common Edible Parts Other Edible Parts
Beans, snap pod with seeds leaves
Beans, lima seeds pods, leaves
Beets root leaves  
Broccoli flowers leaves, flower stems
Carrot root leaves  
Cauliflower immature flowers flower stem, leaves
Celery leaf stems leaves, seeds
Corn, sweet seeds young ears, unfurled tassel, young leaves
Cucumber fruit with seeds stem tips and young leaves
Eggplant fruit with seeds leaves edible but not flavorful
Kohlrabi swollen stem leaves
Okra pods with seeds leaves
Onions root young leaves
Parsley tops roots
Peas, English seeds pods, leaves
Peas, Southern seeds, pods young leaves
Pepper pods leaves after cooking, immature seeds
Potatoes, Sweet roots leaves and stem shoots
Radish roots leaves  
Squash fruit with seeds seeds, flowers, young leaves
Tomato fruits with seeds  
Turnip roots, leaves  
Watermelon fruit rind of fruit


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Here are some other useful resources from

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor


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