There are dozens of uses for edible flowers – here are some particularly pretty ones to try.

edible flowers

Borage (Borago officinalis)

Use fresh in salad, with meat and fish dishes or in drinks

Pansies (Viola tricolor and hybrids)

As well as fresh in salad, use to decorate puddings and cakes

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Either fresh in salad or to garnish pasta

Roses (Rosa species, hybrids and cultivars, especially those sweetly scented)

Use fresh in salad and to decorate cakes, also for jam and crystallising or to flavour syrups and drinks

Common marigolds (Calendula officinalis)

Use fresh, dried or preserved in oil or vinegar, in salads, soups, sautées, stews, puddings and cakes

Primroses and cowslips (Primula vulgarise, P. veris and cultivars)

Use fresh or crystallised

Lady’s smock or cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis)

Excellent in salads and as a garnish for delicately flavoured white dish doe an intense hit of watercress and capers

Courgette (Cucurbita pepo var. cylindrica)

Batter and deep-fry the bloom. Generous chefs use female flowers, complete with the delicious baby marrows

Wild garlic or damson (Allium ursinum)

Lends a sweet garlicky pungency to salads, herby butter and soft cheese, soups, lamb and venison

Elder (Sambucus nigra)

For cordials, wine and jelly. The whole inflorescence can also be coated in batter and lightly deep-friend to make a lacy fritter, served powdered with icing sugar or dipped in chilli sauce

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Use the flower spikes to flavour sugar, honey and vinegar or serve with roasted meat. Scatter fresh, individual flowers in a buttery sponge cake, as with caraway seeds

Thyme (Thymus)

Flower spikes of all garden kinds of thyme enliven salads and are a superb garnish for grilled meat and trout

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

A vibrant addition to stir-fries, Chinese-style soups and salads, tasting mildly of radish and green beans (use sparingly until sure they agree with you)

Bergamot (Monarda didyma)

Brightens rice, pasta and poultry dishes. Also makes an uplifting tisane, fresh or dried

Carnations and pinks (Dianthus)

Fresh or preserved in salad, to decorate cakes and puddings and to flavour sugar, oil and vinegar

For a wider selection and further guidance, visit the RHS website:

Cookie Control

Cookie control

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

I'm fine with this

We use cookies to give you the best online experience.

Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.

Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to work.

We also use some non-essential cookies to collect information for making reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form.

To control third party cookies, you can also adjust your browser settings.

I'm fine with this
(One cookie will be set to store your preference)
(Ticking this sets a cookie to hide this popup if you then hit close. This will not store any personal information)
Information and Settings Cookie policy