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Edible Wildflowers

Foraged edible dandelions flowers and greens

By -Georgia Lund-

It’s fun and easy to take the kids outdoors and forage for tasty treats to eat for dinner. Edible wildflowers grow all across the country, and as long as you know what to look for, they are safe and healthy to eat. All wildflowers have different flavor profiles and can add a punch of spice or dash of sweet to salads or main dishes. Give some of these edible wildflowers a try on your dinner table soon.

Black Locust

Black locust blooms are only around for two weeks in the spring, so you have to act fast to enjoy their sweet, pea-like flavor. Black locust is a member of the legume family, and the pendulant bloom spikes make an excellent addition to stir-fry recipes.

Chickweed

This edible flower looks like a tiny daisy bloom. Little white-petaled flowers with a yellow center abound on the chickweed plant, and they make a lovely and tasty food garnish. Chickweeds appear in early summer and fall when the weather is cooler.

Clover

A common summertime lawn weed that kids often pick and make necklaces. Clover has a sweet flavor and is often used to make a tasty brewed tea. The entire plant is edible, but the leaves provide the most delightful flavor.

Dandelion

Another common lawn weed that is typically the first flower to show up on the lawn in early spring. The yellow petals are sweet, and the green leaves are bitter. Can be eaten raw or cooked.

Forsythia

Commonly called an Easter Bush because it blooms in early spring around Easter. The yellow blooms appear before the green leaves on the small shrub, so gathering the tasty edible flowers is easy.

Redbud

This blooming tree can be seen everywhere in the early spring. The showy purplish-pink flowers are the first tree blooms to show up in spring. Pick fully opened flowers for the best sweet/tart flavor combination.

Violets

Low-growing violet-colored flowers are prized for their versatile culinary uses. Violet tea, candied violets, and chocolate-flavored violets are just a few good uses for the tiny edible flower. Can also be eaten as-is and used as a garnish.

Wood Sorrel

Small blooms provide a sour punch of flavor to seafood dishes or any other dish where a squeeze of lemon is traditionally used. Blooms can be yellow, white or pink.

Wisteria

As tasty as it is good-looking. Wisteria vines drape themselves across fences and climb up trees and produce an abundance of hanging purple bloom clusters in early spring. Blooms can be eaten cooked or raw.

** Only the blooms of wisteria are edible, all other parts, including bloom stems, are poisonous.

Image by: Elena Elisseeva

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