En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - December 01, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Are flower petals poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it toxic to eat the petals on a flower? Ashley

ANSWER:

Well, yes and no.  Some flowers and flower petals are poisonous. For example, all parts, including the petals of the flower, of all Delphinium species (such as, Delphinium carolinianum (Carolina larkspur)) are highly toxic and may be fatal if eaten. Then, there are other flowers that are regularly eaten and are considered quite tasty and non-toxic.  For example, the flower petals of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) are delicious in salads.  The flowers of violets (such as, Viola missouriensis (Missouri violet)) are good in salads and can also be candied and made into jellies or jams.  There are many more edible flowers and many more toxic flowers, so the best rule to follow is:  "Never eat, or even taste, any part of any plant unless you are absolutely sure you know what the plant is and that it is safe to eat."  You can read more about edible native plants in Delena Tull's Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest and you can learn more about poisonous plants in C. R. Hart's Toxic Plants of Texas.

 


Delphinium carolinianum

Cercis canadensis

Viola missouriensis

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Are there edible nettles native to the Austin, TX area?
September 13, 2011 - Are there any nettles native to this area? I would like to cook with them (if there is a good substitute, please advise). Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

Looking for stinging nettle not exposed to pesticides or exhaust
December 26, 2013 - Hi, Thank you for providing this service! I'm interested in foraging and wild edibles in Austin and am wondering if anyone can tell me a spot where I could harvest some Stinging Nettle that is un...
view the full question and answer

Vegetables for sustainable garden in Rochester NY
July 08, 2009 - I have decided to start growing a small sustainable garden. Therefore I have decided to plant mostly North American native greens and vegetables. I live in upstate New York and so the plants designed ...
view the full question and answer

Edible native salad ingredients
May 28, 2009 - Hi, I'm hoping to make a salad for a school Horticulture project, but I'm having a hard time finding some edible plants. I live in Vermont, and am hoping to find some edible flowers and 'weeds' a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center