Flowers, Lovely and Tasty

   There are so many beautiful plants out there, like most gardeners I wait ever so patiently for the summer heat to burst the buds into a colourful and lively display of flowers.

What I am learning, is that flowers offer all kinds of sensual experiences. There are the obvious ones, sight and scent,but  it is taste that has gotten me all excited.  There are hundred of edible flowers that grow here in Ontario, I had never thought about eating a flower, really.

I should preface this by letting you know the context with which I was brought up. And that is simply Flowers are certainly beautiful, and some of them even smell nice, but they have no place in the kitchen, and certainly not your dinner plate.

Flowers can be an epicurean delight. The above photo is of Orange Day Lilies,  these guys are one of my favorite nibbles. All parts of this plant are edible, certainly the most palatable part is the flower (although this fall we are going to harvest the tubers and try them out, I guess they are kid of like a peanut). The petals are like sweet lettuce, the stamens are very sweet and if you eat them as a bud they have a bit of bite. They are just lovely in a salad.

To the right is our giant honeysuckle bush, this flower is less edible, in that you can only eat the stamens. Once you try them, you will understand where the name comes from, they are sweet like nectar. Yum!

  This yellow flower is mustard. This is a cultivated breed, we got the seeds from the bulk food store, and they produced these wonderful yellow flowers. If you like spicy food, this is one flower that has got bite! I like to nibble on these while I am out working in the yard, but my very favorite thing to do is to sneak it into a salad! It is a great addition, it gives salad a little more interest and a splash of colour!

These white beauties are Yucca Flowers. I am not a huge fan of Yucca’s on the whole, the plant itself is a bit hazardous for someone as clumsy as me. I have fallen into the spiky leave no less than 3 times in the last 2 years, and make no mistake it hurts. We dug out about 15 of these guys, but decided to leave a few in the back.
Now, I know a guy from South America, he told me that in his country they eat Yucca’s. So, I did some homework and found that you can in fact eat most of this plant. The petals are lovely and you can eat the flower stalk when it looks like a giant asparagus.

Next time you are in the garden, think about the real uses of the plants around you, you might learn something new, and tasty!

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