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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the day: Edible flower identification

We've been making a whole lot of fuss about elderflower the past month or so- it's such a great ingredient- that we thought it would be worth just quickly pointing out some other edible flowers that are about at the moment.

An amazing range of flowers are edible- though, to be fair, few of them taste particularly nice and they're not highly nutritious. But they make up for that by being pretty, being a bit different and being very easily available!

Courgette flowers are famous for being made into posh fritters- but one of our mini gardeners reckons they taste amazing by themselves (I think because they're big. Size matters...)

Lots of herb flowers- sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, pot marigold and nasturtium (which actually tastes great- really peppery) are fantastic added to otherwise rather boring summer salads. Sunflower petals are also edible- again, they don't taste of much but definitely brighten things up!

And flowers like violets and roses make great decorations on puddings.

A mention all on its own has to go to lavender- an amazingly aromatic addition to all sorts of dishes- just don't overdo it as unlike most flowers these taste STRONG!

We also currently have clover all over the lawn and a last few honeysuckle flowers blossoming (CAUTION- HONEYSUCKLE BERRIES ARE POISONOUS), though sadly the borage has given up for the year and gone to seed. These are the most fun flowers, in our opinion: If you get to them before the bees, you can carefully pull the flower out from its base and suck out the nectar. It's only a tiny drop but as a kid I used to spend ages sucking each tiny bit of clover flowers to get the nectar from a few- it's like a sugary lottery! Honeysuckle, as you might expect, has quite a big treat of nectar in the base if you get to the flower before the insects have drunk it all...

There are some handy resources on edible flowers from the RHS and Sutton Seeds - the main advice is, if you're not sure what it is, don't eat it, just in case!

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