Growing Edible Flowers
- Canna Lilies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canna_sp.jpg) – The Canna Lily is a flowering plant with large green leaves that look much like banana leaves. It comes in a wide variety of flower colors and propagates by creating shoots off the main plant. Cannas are best kept in containers or raised beds to keep them from spreading. They are a very hardy plant that does well in a variety of soil conditions including underwater. The leaves can be used to wrap food for cooking. The young shoots can be eaten like bamboo shoots and taste great in stir-fires or sautéed. The root system of the Canna Lily develops a tuber-like growth that can be eaten like a potato or dried and ground into flour.
- Lotus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sacred_lotus_Nelumbo_nucifera.jpg) – A sacred flower in many cultures this water plant is perfect for small backyard ponds. With colorful large flowers and smooth green pads it makes quite an impression in your water feature. The Lotus also forms seed pods in the fall that have several seeds per pod. These seeds are edible and are prized by many cultures for their flavor and nutritional value. The green center must be removed before eating because it is bitter. You can eat the seeds raw or roasted. In the late summer and fall the Lotus sends out runners beneath the water that form tubers. These tubers can be difficult to harvest but can be eaten like a potato or candied with sugar and ginger for a sweet treat.
- Rose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rosa_rubiginosa_1.jpg) – The common Rose is seen practically in every yard but very few people know it is edible. The petals of the flowers have a light flavor and can make a colorful addition to salads. You can also make a lightly flavored jelly from the petals. When the flowers die the Rose hips appear. A round bulge in the stem of the Rose, Rose hips are full of Vitamin C. You can make a tasty and nutritious tea with the Rose hips or turn it into jelly.
- Sweet Alyssum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet_alyssum.jpg) – This delicate white flower is often planted in spring flower beds. It wilts when the heat rises but in cooler climates it can last quite a while. A member of the mustard family this sweet smelling flower has a strong flavor reminiscent of horseradish. The flowers, seeds and leaves of this plant can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves can be used like mustard greens and the seeds and flowers add spice to dishes.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.