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34 edible flowers that are safe for children to eat

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

As a kindergarten teacher (and dad), I see children putting all kinds of things in their mouths, from dirt to flowers. They explore the world through their senses by smelling, touching, and tasting things in the playground. For this reason, our school focuses on having safe and non-toxic plants in our playground, such as flowers in raised beds and safe, edible flowers and plants that kids can eat.


When it comes to eating flowers and plants, make sure all flowers are well washed before eating, and never eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or supermarkets without washing them. It’s best to use flowers from your own garden so you know exactly what’s on them.


Are you looking for safe flowers and plants for your garden? Here’s my list of the best 34 edible flowers and plants.


1. Cornflower | Centaurea cyanus


Even the name of this flower sounds delicious. Cornflowers are annual or biennial plants with beautiful blue or pink flowers. They are a popular ornamental plant and also have edible petals. They’re native to Europe but are now found throughout the world.


Height: 30-90 cm (12-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to early autumn

 

2. Dwarf Marigold | Tagetes pumila


Dwarf marigolds are compact, bushy plants with yellow or orange flowers. They are commonly used as bedding plants or as borders. They’re also used in traditional medicine in some countries and are safe to eat.


Height: 15-20 cm (6-8 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to early autumn

 

3. Pot Marigold | Calendula officinalis


Pot marigolds are annual plants dripping with bright yellow or orange flowers. They are often used as a medicinal herb and in cooking.


Height: 30-60 cm (12-24 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to early autumn

 

4. Wild Pansy | Viola tricolor


Wild pansies are annual or biennial plants covered with small, brightly colored flowers in shades of blue, purple, yellow, and white. They’re often used as ornamental plants and are loved for their medicinal properties, too.


Height: 10-20 cm (4-8 inches)

Sun exposure: Partial shade to full sun

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Spring to autumn

 

5. Forget-Me-Not | Myosotis


Forget-me-nots are herbaceous perennials loved for their pink or white flowers. They’re popular as garden ornamental plants and are also used in traditional medicine.


Height: 20-40 cm (8-16 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Spring to summer

 

6. Nasturtium | Tropaeolum majus


Nasturtiums (Indian Cress) are annual climbers covered in brightly colored flowers in shades of red, yellow, and orange. They’re totally edible and are commonly used in salads and as a garnish.


Height: 60-150 cm (24-59 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to autumn

 

7. Hollyhock | Alcea


Hollyhocks are tall, upright perennials that produce large spikes of flowers in shades of pink, red, yellow, and white. They look great planted in the back of your flower borders and they’re even used in traditional medicine.


Height: 150-300 cm (59-118 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to early autumn

 

8. Pinks | Dianthus


Dianthus is a genus of flowering plants that includes popular garden flowers such as carnations and pinks. They have fragrant, brightly colored flowers that bloom on top of thin stems. The foliage is usually blue-green and evergreen. Some species of Dianthus are edible, with a slightly sweet and clove-like flavor.


Height: 20-60 cm (8-24 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Spring to Summer

 

9. Bee Balm | Monarda


Monarda, also known as bee balm or wild bergamot, is a hardy herb with showy spikes of pink, lavender, or purple flowers. The leaves are fragrant and often used in teas. The plants are extremely attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Monarda is edible and has a slightly minty flavor.


Height: 60-90 cm (24-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to Fall

 

10. Hosta


Hosta is a popular shade-loving perennial loved because of its lush foliage in shades of green, yellow, or blue. The plants produce spikes of bell-shaped flowers in shades of lavender or white. Hosta leaves are edible and have a slightly bitter flavor.


Height: 20-90 cm (8-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Partial to full shade

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer


 

11. English Lavender | Lavandula


Lavender is a fragrant herb that produces spikes of fragrant purple, blue, or white flowers. The leaves are gray-green and have a calming scent. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy and as a flavoring in culinary dishes. The flowers and leaves are edible.


Height: 30-90 cm (12-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Summer to Fall

 

12. Primrose | Primula


Primulas are a large group of flowering plants that includes primrose, cowslip, and oxlip. They have rosettes of leaves and produce spikes of brightly colored flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink, or purple. Primulas are often used in rock gardens or as container plants. Some species are edible and have a slightly bitter flavor.


Height: 5-30 cm (2-12 inches)

Sun exposure: Partial to full shade

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soil

Blooms: Spring

 

13. Horned Violet | Viola cornuta


Viola cornuta, also known as the horned violet, is a flowering plant growing yellow, blue, or purple flowers. The flowers have a characteristic "horn" on the upper petal. Viola cornuta is often used as a ground cover or in rock gardens. The flowers and leaves are edible and have a slightly sweet, grassy flavor.


Height: 5-15 cm (2-6 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soil

Blooms: Spring or early summer

 

14. Fuchsia


Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants native to Central and South America. They produce hanging, trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white. Fuchsias are often grown as ornamental plants in gardens and as houseplants.


Height: 20-90 cm (8-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Part shade to full shade

Soil type: Well-drained, moist soil

Blooms: Summer to fall

 

15. Geranium | Pelargonium


Scented geraniums are a type of flowering plant prized for their fragrant leaves and flowers. They are often used in gardens for their ornamental value and for making scented oils and potpourri. Scented geraniums come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and scents.


Height: 20-90 cm (8-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Summer to fall

 

16. Chamomile | Chamomilla recutita


Chamomile is an herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. It is well-known for its small, daisy-like flowers that are used to make tea. Chamomile has a sweet, apple-like scent and is often used for its soothing properties.


Height: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Summer to fall

 

17. Sunflower | Helianthus annuus


Sunflowers are native to North America and are well-known for their large, yellow flowers that resemble the sun. Sunflowers are often grown as ornamental plants, but they are also used for their seeds, which are high in oil and protein.


Height: 100-300 cm (40-120 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Summer to fall

 

18. Dark Mullein | Verbascum nigrum


Mullein is a tall, herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. It has long spikes of yellow or white flowers that are grown for their ornamental value. Mullein has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, including as a remedy for respiratory problems.


Height: 100-200 cm (40-80 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained, fertile soil

Blooms: Summer to fall

 

19. Mallow | Malva spp.


Mallow is a genus of flowering plants native to Europe and Asia. They produce large, cup-shaped flowers in a rainbow of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white. Mallow is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and as a food source for wildlife.


Height: 30-90 cm (12-36 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained, moist soil

Blooms: Summer to fall


 

20. Aster


Aster is a flowering plant from the daisy family. It is native to North America and Europe and comes in a variety of colors including pink, purple, blue, and white. Asters bloom in the late summer and fall and are often used as cut flowers. They grow to be 20-80 cm (8-31 inches) tall, depending on the species.


Height: 20-80 cm (8-31 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Late summer to fall

 

21. Dahlia


Dahlia is a popular ornamental plant native to Mexico and Central America. It has a large, showy flower head ranging in size from 5 cm to 30 cm (2-12 inches) in diameter. Dahlias come in a range of colors including red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. They are popular as cut flowers and can grow to be 60-150 cm (24-59 inches) tall.


Height: 60-150 cm (24-59 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer to early fall

 

22. English Daisy | Bellis perennis


Bellis perennis is a herbaceous plant commonly known as the English Daisy. It is native to Europe and has been introduced to many other regions of the world. It has small, yellow or white flowers with a central disc of yellow or black. English daisies are often used as ground cover or in rock gardens and grow to be 5-15 cm (2-6 inches) tall.


Height: 5-15 cm (2-6 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Spring to early summer

 

23. Roses


Roses are popular ornamental flowers famous for their beautiful and fragrant blooms. They come in a variety of colors including red, pink, yellow, and white. The petals of some rose varieties are edible and often used as a garnish or to make rose water.


Want to see more gorgeous red perennials? Find your favorites here.


Height: 30-300 cm (12-118 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Mid-spring to early fall

 

24. Squash Blossoms | Cucurbita spp.


Squash blossoms are the large, showy flowers that grow on the vines of summer and winter squash plants. They have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and are often stuffed with cheese or used in soups and stews.


Height: Varies with the species of squash plant

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer

 

25. Borage | Borago officinalis


Borage is an annual herb with blue, star-shaped flowers and hairy leaves. The flowers and leaves have a cucumber-like flavor and are often used in salads or as a garnish. Borage is also a valuable source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.


Height: 60-90 cm (24-35 inches)

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained soil

Blooms: Summer