Hibiscus, Hibiscus spp.

two bright pink/red hibiscus, Hibiscus spp. blossoms

There are hundreds of species of hibiscus. The flowers can be eaten straight off the plant (if you’re lucky enough to live in a tropical area or have a heated greenhouse!) or used dried in tea, relishes or jams. Hibiscus flower is quite tart, reminiscent of cranberry with a slight citrus flavor. It adds beautiful color to anything it’s added to. I love making hibiscus-lavender sun tea in the summer!


Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica

orange honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica with a blue sky

We have honeysuckle growing wild on our property, but my favorite ones are the plants we grow in my herb garden. They grow up and over a cattle panel arch, making it super easy to grab and suck out the sweet nectar. The flowers themselves can be used as a garnish or added to salads. They’re so beautiful and attract hummingbirds, which provides even more magic in the garden.


Impatiens, Impatiens walleriana

closeup of an orange/peach impatiens, Impatiens wallerianal, bush

These don’t necessarily pack a big flavor punch, but the petals are surprisingly sweet. They’re great added to salads, frozen in ice cubes, floated in punch or used as a garnish on desserts.


Johnny Jump-ups, Viola tricolor and other violets, Viola spp.

closeup of purple and yellow Johnny Jump-ups, Viola tricolor, Viola spp.

Johnny jump-ups are one of those plants that, like the dandelion, seems to be a nuisance to most gardeners. Once it’s established, it likes to stick around. Why not enjoy the mildly minty flavor of the flowers and leaves, rather than try to kill it? Violas are all moistening – rub the leaves and flowers between your fingers and you’ll see their mucilage. There are so many things you can make with these little guys: ice cubes, tea, jam, jelly, syrup, candied and, of course, add them to salads ??

Edible flowers of hibiscus, honeysuckle, impatiens and Johnny Jump-Ups used in cooking dishes