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Elevate Your Valentine's Dishes with Edible Flowers

In the world of culinary artistry, where every dish is a canvas, a sprinkle of fresh green herbs might be a common palette choice. But what if you could take your home-cooked creations to the next level, not just in taste but in visual allure? Enter the enchanting realm of edible flowers, where petals and blossoms become both an aesthetic delight and a flavorful surprise.

Why Edible Flowers?

"Edible flowers can add a bright burst of color to food and drinks, along with complex and unique flavors," explains Brandi Eide, the senior director of facilities and strategic initiatives at the San Diego Botanic Garden. "Additionally, some are full of nutrients and health benefits." Beyond mere culinary decoration, these floral additions offer a delightful twist to your dishes and can be a conversation starter at any gathering.

Blooms to Beware

A list of flowers you should strictly avoid includes hyacinth, hydrangea, baby's breath, foxglove, lily of the valley, and iris. While these flowers may seem innocuous, they hide toxins that can be harmful to both humans and animals.

Now, let's explore the charming world of edible flowers that can transform your Valentine's Day dishes into culinary masterpieces.

Roses: Beyond being symbols of love and romance, roses are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Adding a touch of elegance and a hint of health benefits, roses make a perfect addition to your culinary repertoire.


Lavender: Beautiful, bountiful, and highly aromatic, lavender is not just for scented sachets. This edible flower can be a delightful addition to both sweet and savory dishes, infusing them with its unique floral notes.


Elderflower: Harvested from the Sambucus Nigra plant, elderflowers not only contribute to the delicious elderberry harvest but also bring a subtle, fragrant flavor to your culinary creations. Be mindful, though; harvesting elderflowers may affect your elderberry crop.


Wild Violet: Sprouting in late winter and early spring, wild violets are not only pretty and purple but also easily foraged. Their simplicity in availability makes them a popular choice for those looking to experiment with edible flowers.

Wild Violet

Borage: With its tall stature and vibrant blue star-shaped flowers, borage has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Embrace its self-seeding nature and let it thrive in sunny conditions across the U.S.


Dandelion: Often dismissed as pesky weeds, dandelions are not only edible but also packed with nutritional benefits. Embrace the misunderstood and infuse your dishes with the vibrant flavors of these resilient blooms.


Calendula: Dating back to at least the 12th century for medicinal use, calendula flowers bring a golden hue and a plethora of flavonoids to your table. These plant-based antioxidants fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.


Bee Balm (Wild Bergamot): A member of the mint family, bee balm introduces a pleasant citrus-mint aroma to your dishes. Known for its medicinal properties, this edible flower can be an aromatic and flavorful addition to your culinary creations.

Bee Balm (Wild Bergamot)

As you embark on your journey into the world of edible flowers, remember the golden rule: safety first. With cautious exploration and a touch of floral finesse, your Valentine's Day dishes are bound to blossom into unforgettable masterpieces, igniting both passion and palates.


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