Edible Spring Flowers

Plum blossoms; sweet scent, delicious flavor!
Did you know that several spring flowers are edible? Plum blossoms, for example. The tantalizing fragrance is a hint to the flavor you'll find. These, as well as lilacs, are my favorite flowers for sorbet. (You can find recipes in my book, Fabulous Herb and Flower Sorbets, on my website; also I've written about these in previous blog posts, the lilac sorbet recipe is here).

Peach flowers add color to salads.

Our peach trees are in bloom, as well. Scatter peach petals in a salad for some color and variety. I took this photo yesterday in the rain. The flavor isn't strong in peach flowers but they still add color. When using them, just pull the petals from the center and use just the petals, the rest of the flower would be tough.
Flowering quince blossoms.
Quince is a cousin of the apple and its flowers are edible. Like peach blossoms, pull the petals away from the center of the flower, discarding the tougher part. Quince blossoms make a beautiful vinegar for salad dressings. Use the basic directions in my book, Making Herb Vinegars.

Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin) blossoms.

Another flower that is edible and packs a burst of flavor is Spice Bush, a native shrub that grows from Georgia upward to Ohio, west into Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and southward into Texas. Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin) grows at the edges of woods, generally in shady areas. The leaves, twigs, berries and flowers are all used for culinary purposes. Ours is blooming now. Use the flowers in salad dressings or when cooking any meat dish. Use just a few as the blossoms have a spicy, herbal flavor and like bay leaf, a little goes a long way. Spice Bush was the Native Herb of the Year for 2011 as designated by the Herb Society of America.
These are not edible but are useful for dreaming.
There are spring flowers that you don't want to eat. Forsythia, for instance is not considered edible. Neither are hyacinths or daffodils (narcissus). They have uses in Dream Pillows to enhance dreaming, but they're not edible. To learn more about Dream Pillows, visit my Dream Pillows blog here.

Happy spring!

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