Sunday, May 31, 2015



The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking — think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food. Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbacious, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising.

It’s not uncommon to see flower petals used in salads, teas, and as garnish for desserts, but they inspire creative uses as well — roll spicy ones (like chive blossoms) into handmade pasta dough, incorporate floral ones into homemade ice cream, pickle flower buds (like nasturtium) to make ersatz capers, use them to make a floral simple syrup for use in lemonade or cocktails. I once stuffed gladiolus following a recipe for stuffed squash blossoms — they were great. So many possibilities…

Eating Flowers Safely

So. As lovely as eating flowers can be, it can also be a little … deadly! Not to scare you off or anything. Follow these tips for eating flowers safely:
  • Eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants.
  • Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
  • Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.
  • If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
  • To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

Allium to Carnations

1. Allium
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful! Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible.
2. Angelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.

3. Anise hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor.

4. Arugula
Blossoms are small with dark centers and with a peppery flavor much like the leaves. They range in color from white to yellow with dark purple streaks.

5. Bachelor’s button
Grassy in flavor, the petals are edible. Avoid the bitter calyx.

6. Basil
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder.

7. Bee balm
The red flowers have a minty flavor.

8. Borage
Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!

9. Calendula / marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds dash to any dish.

10. Carnations / dianthus
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma. 

 11. Chamomile
Small and daisylike, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.

12. Chervil
Delicate blossoms and flavor, which is anise-tinged.

13. Chicory
Mildly bitter earthiness of chicory is evident in the petals and buds, which can be pickled.

14. Chrysanthemum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals.

15. Cilantro
Like the leaves, people either love the blossoms or hate them. The flowers share the grassy flavor of the herb. Use them fresh as they lose their charm when heated.

16. Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat)
Citrus blossoms are sweet and highly scented. Use frugally or they will over-perfume a dish.

17. Clover
Flowers are sweet with a hint of licorice.

18. Dandelion
Read more about dandelions here: Backyard Forage for Dandelions.

19. Dill
Yellow dill flowers taste much like the herb’s leaves.

20. English daisy
These aren’t the best-tasting petals — they are somewhat bitter — but they look great!

21. Fennel
Yellow fennel flowers are eye candy with a subtle licorice flavor, much like the herb itself.

22. Fuchsia
Tangy fuchsia flowers make a beautiful garnish.

23. Gladiolus
Who knew? Although gladioli are bland, they can be stuffed, or their petals removed for an interesting salad garnish.

24. Hibiscus
Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavor is tart and can be used sparingly.

25. Hollyhock
Bland and vegetal in flavor, hollyhock blossoms make a showy, edible garnish.

26. Impatiens
Flowers don’t have much flavor — best as a pretty garnish or for candying.

27. Jasmine
These super-fragrant blooms are used in tea; you can also use them in sweet dishes, but sparingly.

28. Johnny Jump-Up
Adorable and delicious, the flowers have a subtle mint flavor great for salads, pastas, fruit dishes and drinks.

29. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

30. Lemon berbena
The diminutive off-white blossoms are redolent of lemon — and great for teas and desserts.

31. Lilac
The blooms are pungent, but the floral citrusy aroma translates to its flavor as well.

32. Mint
The flowers are — surprise! — minty. Their intensity varies among varieties.

33. Nasturtium
One of the most popular edible flowers, nasturtium blossoms are brilliantly colored with a sweet, floral flavor bursting with a spicy pepper finish. When the flowers go to seed, the seed pod is a marvel of sweet and spicy. You can stuff flowers, add leaves to salads, pickle buds like capers, and garnish to your heart’s content.

34. Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf.

35. Pansy
The petals are somewhat nondescript, but if you eat the whole flower you get more taste.

36. Radish
Varying in color, radish flowers have a distinctive, peppery bite.

37. Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties.

38. Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary.

39. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves.

40. Squash and pumpkin
Blossoms from both are wonderful vehicles for stuffing, each having a slight squash flavor. Remove stamens before using.

41. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke.

42. Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.

From True Food: Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier You (National Geographic, 2009) by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer and Wendy Gordon.


The language of flowers, herbs and trees: 71 plants and their meanings 

People have long used specific flora to convey secret messages, here's how they let nature do their bidding.
Now we have Hallmark and emoji, but there was a time when people borrowed from the plant world to express themselves. While using flowers to convey one's feelings was long used in Persia and the Middle East, the practice really came to fruition during the Victorian era. And is it any wonder? Those chaste Victorians weren't the most flirtatious bunch, so why not say it with flowers? And beyond bashful courting, there was an appreciation of botany that western culture seems to be lacking in now. We order a dozen red roses for our sweetheart because it's the thing to do; but how lovely was the intention of stringing together a missive with flowers and herbs – an ode to love created by things that sprout from the earth.
Known as floriography, flowers were sent to reveal secret sentiments of love and affection – but flowers meant to pitch woo could be arranged differently to impart a negative message instead. Just as the 19th century brought about complicated social customs, so was the language of flowers. So complex, in fact, that entire dictionaries were devoted to decoding the delicate disclosures.
Floriography entered the European imagination as early as 1809 with the publication of Joseph Hammer-Pugstall's list, "Dictionnaire du language des fleurs." The first mainstream dictionary of floriography, "La langage des Fleurs," was published in 1819 by Louise Cortambert (under the pen name Madame Charlotte de la Tour). Following that, the 19th century saw a flood of similar publications of which symbolic definitions were often dissimilar. By some accounts, as floriography spread to the United States and beyond, hundreds of different "language of flowers" dictionaries were published.
Given that there were so many interpretations, it can be tricky to know exactly what was supposed to mean what. With that in mind, we've borrowed from The Old Farmer's Almanac for our list here. Because if you can't trust America's oldest continuously published periodical, who can you trust? And if you're looking to resume the lost art of floriography, you certainly wouldn't want to send your sweetheart, say, lemon balm for sympathy when what you really meant was heliotrope for true love ...
Aloe: Healing, protection, affection
Angelica: Inspiration
Arborvitae: Unchanging friendship
Bachelor's button: Single blessedness
Basil: Good wishes
Bay: Glory
Black-eyed Susan: Justice
Carnation: Alas for my poor heart
Chamomile: Patience
Chives: Usefulness
Chrysanthemum: Cheerfulness
Clover, white: Think of me
Coriander: Hidden worth
Cumin: Fidelity
Crocus, spring: Youthful gladness
Daffodil: Regard
Daisy: Innocence, hope
Dill: Powerful against evil
Edelweiss: Courage, devotion
Fennel: Flattery
Fern: Sincerity
Forget-me-not: Forget-me-not
Geranium, oak-leaved: True friendship
Goldenrod: Encouragement
Heliotrope: Eternal love
Holly: Hope
Hollyhock: Ambition
Honeysuckle: Bonds of love
Horehound: Health
Hyacinth: Constancy of love, fertility
Hyssop: Sacrifice, cleanliness
Iris: A message
Ivy: Friendship, continuity
Jasmine, white: Sweet love
Lady's-mantle: Comfort
Lavender: Devotion, virtue
Lemon balm: Sympathy
Lilac: Joy of youth
Lily-of-the-valley: Sweetness
Marjoram: Joy and happiness
Mint: Virtue
Morning glory: Affection
Myrtle: The emblem of marriage, true love
Nasturtium: Patriotism
Oak: Strength
Oregano: Substance
Pansy: Thoughts
Parsley: Festivity
Pine: Humility
Poppy, red: Consolation
Rose, red: Love, desire
Rosemary: Remembrance
Rue: Grace, clear vision
Sage: Wisdom, immortality
Salvia, blue: I think of you
Salvia, red: Forever mine
Savory: Spice, interest
Sorrel: Affection
Southernwood: Constancy, jest
Sweet pea: Pleasures
Sweet William: Gallantry
Sweet woodruff: Humility
Tansy: Hostile thoughts
Tarragon: Lasting interest
Thyme: Courage, strength
Tulip, red: Declaration of love
Valerian: Readiness
Violet: Loyalty, devotion, faithfulness
Willow: Sadness
Yarrow: Everlasting love
Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends 



(source: )

Flower Image Flower Name and Meaning View Collection
AlstroemeriaFlower Meaning Alstroemeria flower is symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune. It is also the flower of friendship.View Collection
Flower Meaning Amaryllis This flower is symbolic of splendid beauty. It is also used to indicate worth beyond beauty.Collection currently not available
Anemone Flower
Meaning Anemone on a darker note indicates fading hope and a feeling of having been forsaken. On a positive note it symbolizes anticipation.Collection currently not available
Flower Meaning Anthurium symbolizes hospitality. It is also used to indicate happiness and abundance. Collection currently not available
Aster Flower
Meaning Aster symbolizes patience. It is also indicative of a love of variety. It also symbolizes elegance and daintiness.Collection currently not available
of Paradise Flower Meaning Bird of Paradise symbolizes joyfulness. It also symbolizes magnificence. It can also be used to indicate exciting and wonderful anticipation. View Collection
Bouvardia Double Flower Meaning Bouvardia Double symbolizes enthusiasm. It is also used to indicate zest for life. Collection currently not available
cala-lily Calla Lily symbolizes magnificence and beauty. White Calla lilies combine these two attributes with purity and innocence associated with the color white to make it the perfect choice of flower in a Wedding bouquet.View Collection
Flower Meaning Carnation symbolizes pride and beauty. A red carnation symbolizes love, pride and admiration; a pink carnation symbolizes the love of a woman or a mother; a purple carnation symbolizes capriciousness; a yellow carnation symbolizes disdain, rejection or disappointment; while a white carnation symbolizes innocence and pure love. A striped carnation conveys refusal. View Collection
Chrysanthemum, Standard Flower Meaning Chrysanthemum symbolizes fidelity, optimism, joy and long life. A red chrysanthemum conveys love; a white chrysanthemum symbolizes truth and loyal love while a yellow chrysanthemum symbolizes slighted love. View Collection
Daffodil Flower
Meaning Daffodil symbolizes regard and chivalry. It is indicative of rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life. It also symbolizes unrequited love. A single daffodil foretells a misfortune while a bunch of daffodils indicate joy and happiness. Collection currently not available
daisy Daisy symbolizes innocence and purity. It conveys loyal love and “I will never tell”. Gerbera Daisy specifically conveys cheerfulness.View Collection
Delphinium, Hybrid Flower Meaning Delphinium, Hybrid symbolizes big-heartedness, fun, lightness and levity. It also indicates ardent attachment. Collection currently not available
Freesia Flower
Meaning Freesia symbolizes innocence and thoughtfulness. Collection currently not available
gardenia Gardenia symbolizes purity and sweetness. They indicate secret love. They convey joy. They tell the receiver you are lovely. View Collection
gerbera Gerbera belongs to the daisy family and therefore assumes the symbolism associated with the daisy flower. Gerbera specifically conveys cheerfulness. View Collection
Flower Meaning Gladiolus symbolizes strength of character, faithfulness and honor. The Gladiolus flower signifies remembrance. View Collection
Heather Heather Lavender symbolizes admiration, solitude and beauty while white heather symbolizes protection and indicates that wishes will come true. Collection currently not available
Hyacinth Flower
MeaningHyacinth symbolizes playfulness and a sporty attitude and in its extreme rashness. Hyacinths also denote constancy. Blue hyacinth stands for constancy, purple for sorrow, red or pink for play, white for loveliness and yellow for jealousy.Collection currently not available
Flower MeaningHydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotions. It can be used to express gratitude for being understood. In its negative sense hydrangea symbolizes frigidity and heartlessness.Collection currently not available
Iris Flower
Meaning Iris symbolizes eloquence. Purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments. Blue iris symbolizes faith and hope. Yellow iris symbolizes passion while white iris symbolizes purity.View Collection
Larkspur Flower
MeaningLarkspur symbolizes levity or lightness. It is also indicative of fickleness and haughtiness.Collection currently not available
Lilac Flower
Meaning Lilac symbolizes youthful innocence and confidence. White lilac symbolizes humility and innocence, field lilac symbolizes charity while purple lilac symbolizes first love.Collection currently not available
Oriental Flower Meaning Lily symbolizes purity and refined beauty. White lily symbolizes modesty and virginity, orange lily symbolizes passion, yellow lily symbolizes gaiety while Lily of the Valley symbolizes sweetness and purity of heart. The Easter lily is the symbol of the Virgin Mary.View Collection

Dendrobium Flower MeaningOrchid is a symbol of the exotic beauty. It symbolizes refinement, thoughtfulness and mature charm. It also symbolizes proud and glorious femininity. Collection currently not available
Peony Flower
Meaning Peony symbolizes bashfulness and compassion. It can also be used to express indignation or shame. It symbolizes a happy life, happy marriage, good health and prosperity.View Collection
Protea, King
Flower MeaningProtea, King stands for change and transformation. It signifies daring and resourcefulness. It is symbolic of diversity and courage.Collection currently not available
Anne's Lace Flower MeaningQueen Anne's Lace symbolizes a haven or sanctuary. It signifies complexity and delicateness.Collection currently not available
Flower MeaningRanunculus symbolizes radiant charm. It conveys a message that you are radiant with charm or you are attractive. Collection currently not available
Rose Flower
MeaningRose symbolizes love. It signifies love in its various forms. Its symbolism varies based on color, variety and number. Learn more about Rose Flower Meanings.View Collection
Flower MeaningSnapdragon symbolizes graciousness and strength. Its negative connotations include deception and presumption.Collection currently not available
Statice Flower
MeaningStatice is symbolic of remembrance. It also symbolizes sympathy and success.Collection currently not available
Stock Flower
MeaningStock symbolizes lasting beauty and a happy life. It is indicative of bonds of affection and is symbolic of promptness.Collection currently not available
Flower Meaning Sunflower signifies pure thoughts. It symbolizes adoration and dedication. It is symbolic of dedicated love. It is however also symbolic of haughtiness.Collection currently not available
Sweet Pea
Flower MeaningSweet Pea indicates delicate pleasure and bliss. It is a flower symbolic of departure after having a good time.Collection currently not available
Tulip Flower
Meaning Tulip signifies a declaration of love. It also symbolizes fame and perfect love. Collection currently not available. 



if a (bad) witch put a curse on an unlucky man or woman
 the hydrangea could be used to break the curse. 

Hydrangea Root

Hydrangea arborescens
Powers: Hex-Breaking.
Magical Uses: Use hydrangea to unhex by carrying, scattering around the home or burning.

Hydrangea: Boundaries, Deconstructing Challenging Karmic Patterns, Hex Breaking, Protection, Redirecting Curses and Psychic Attacks, Restructuring Energy Field

(sources: .., ...,  )