One of my life’s quests has been to eat as many flowers as possible, writes Dina Falconi‘s in Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook, illustrated by Wendy Hollender (which we wrote about here). Now there’s a quest after our own hearts, we thought. Everybody should eat as many flowers as possible.
So we wrote Falconi to find out which flowers are available in late summer, either in wild areas and gardens or in farmer’s markets, in addition to Foraging and Feasting’s useful chart.
Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook
Here is Dina’s list of flowers available in temperate regions in August and September:
There are many edible flowers to be found in August into Sept., although the ones we feature in the Edible Wild Flower Poster (at top) are mostly available earlier in the growing season.
The ones still to be found from the poster are rosa rugosa, purslane, and mallow (Malva neglecta); sometimes red clover and the monardas too.
Not in the poster, but plants we feature in the book whose flowers can be found now are: all the mints, anise hyssop, day flower, hollyhock mallow, lemon balm, star chickweed, musk mallow, wild lettuce, wood sorrel.
And there still many more edible flowers listed on page 102 of our book, many of which are available right now, for example borage, chicory, calendula, nasturtiums, swamp rose mallow, rose of sharon, squash blossoms, and the flowers of the culinary herbs (basil, thyme, savory, etc).
Wild and tame edible flowers are lovely in salads and as garnishes for desserts. They make surprising flavors for homemade ice cream and whipped cream.
To make flower and/or herb-infused heavy cream, combine 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream with 1 cup finely chopped flowers and/or herbs over low heat, until it comes to a gentle simmer. Cover, turn off the heat and allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.
To make flower butters: knead 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh flowers or finely minced herbs into 1 pound butter; shape, wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
Download and print Foraging & Feasting’s Leaf & Flower Ice Cream Recipe PDF.
If you’re unsure which parts of a flower you can eat, Dina’s instructions are really helpful:
There are MANY flowers to explore. If you find any unsprayed flowers growing in your garden, taste one!