This morning I became inspired by an article in the newspaper about edible flowers. I posted about this once before, but thought I would revisit ornamental and edible plants in the garden. You can take a look at the list of Edible Plants here.
This time I wanted to expand on some of the edible plants I have in my garden, and also talk a little about some you should not eat. Also, some plants may be edible but not palatable. Here are some I have in my garden this year.
Most alliums are edible. Of course, the ones we know best are onions and garlic, but there are ornamental alliums as well. The question is whether some of these ornamental ones are palatable. I don’t exactly know which ones are. Best to check information about the specific variety. Also, even if an ornamental allium is edible, it may have been treated with fungicide, so be aware of this.
. Alliums I have in my garden include:
. Garlic, which is edible and produces beautiful white flowers. (Top left in first allium photo)
. Chives. Of course I use these in salads and cooking and they have very pretty purple flowers. I have planted several clumps in my volcano strip as ornamentals. (Top right in first allium photo)
. Walking Onions. I just got this one and it is in a pot, but these bend over and the bulblets from the flowers take root and produce more. The flowers are a pretty white. (Second image in second allium photo)
. Nodding Onions. These are blooming now in my garden. (First image in second allium photo)
I have a variety of ornamental alliums in my garden. I have not tried eating any of them, but they do have oniony scents just like onions. These are the ones I have:
. Drumstick Alliums which are beginning to form buds. (Bottom left in first allium photo)
. Purple Alliums and White Alliums are finishing up blooming. All of these have an oniony scent and are likely edible. (Bottom right in first allium photo)
All herbs and their flowers are edible. I have an abundance of these in my garden. The ones I have include:
. Oregano (several kinds). My yellow leafed one produces white flowers while my green oregano produces reddish pink flowers.
. . . .
. Lavender. I use the leaves and flowers in salads and have used them to flavor cookies and lemonade as well.
. Rosemary. The same is true for rosemary. I use it in salads and for cooking.
. Salad Burnet is a nice herb with a watermelon flavor and a ball of very tiny red flowers.
. What I don’t seem to have this year is Nasturtiums. For some reason they did not self seed. I may just have to go buy some. These are wonderful in salads with a peppery flavor for both the leaves and flowers.
. Strawberries Of course strawberries are edible. Even some of the ornamental strawberries, if you can find the berries. I have both those used for fruit and ornament. I get berries on the ornamental one, but they are very tiny.
. Shasta Daisies The flowers are edible, but I have never tried them. Be aware that not everything we call “Daisies” are Shasta Daisies, so be sure you have the right one.
. Roses are quite edible. Rose petals in a salad or garnish for a dish are wonderful. We you can also make jam from rose hips. I had my heart set on making rose hip jam last year, but I found out that my housemate had used a systemic fertilizer/pesticide mixture in the spring. This year we made sure that we didn’t use the systemic. I am so looking forward to making jam.
. Daylilies are also edible. The flowers make a wonderful garnish for a dish or stuffed. I now have quite a few blooming, including my favorite Blue Eyed Butterfly.
. Would you believe tuberous begonias are edible.
. Sweet Potatoes are attractive plants and many varieties have been bred for beauty. The ornamental tubers are edible, but may not be palatable. If you want the best of both worlds, plant tubers designed for food and use them ornament ally as well.
. Do you know that Blueberries are beautiful plants and are a great addition to a garden. The fall foliage puts on a show of reds and maroon.
We have a couple of our Northwest native plants that I wanted to comment on:
. Evergreen Huckleberry. The shrubs are beautiful and produce tiny black berries that are very tasty and have made great jam and topping or ice cream.
. Red Flowering Currant is one of our earliest spring bloomers with red, pink or white droops, depending on cultivar. The berries are edible, but I really don’t like them as they are quite sour. I suppose you could make jam if you got enough
. Salal is an evergreen shrub with black berries. Native Americans used them as food staple and had medicinal properties. I don’t have any Salal, but a neighbor does.
Some you should Not try to eat include:
. Oleander is Very poisonous to humans and pets. As beautiful as they are, I would not want to have one in my yard if I lived in a warm climate.
. Foxglove is also poisonous. Still it has medicinal uses as a heart medication, digitalis.
. Daffodils are also poisonous. Maybe this is why deer won’t go after them. Keep this in mind when planting spring bulbs.
A list of Poisonous Plants is here.
Although a plant may be edible, there are some safety considerations:
. Never collect fruit or herbs from the side of the road. Think about all those exhaust emissions, Yuk!
. Also, do not eat flowers on which pesticides have been used.
. Check what parts of the plant you are interested in are edible. Rhubarb has stalks that are edible, but leaves which are poisonous.
. You should also be sure that the plant is the correct species or variety taht is edible before trying to do so.
. Make sure you wash the plant thoroughly.
. You should also not try too many new ones at the same time, as one may not agree with you even if it is edible.
It is fun to try new things in your diet. These are just a few of the plants from the garden that are edible.