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

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

What variety of Opuntia is best for eating in Boerne, TX.
September 26, 2011 - Which variety of Opuntia, is best for eating the pads and which are the ones best eaten for fruit?
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Kempner, Texas
November 29, 2013 - I just moved to Kempner , TX and would like to plant a couple of fruit trees in my 1 1/4 ac yard. I would like to plant a species that will do well and produce edible fruit. Any assistance will be app...
view the full question and answer

Getting blueberries to grow in Atascosa County, Texas
January 20, 2010 - I'm trying to get blueberries started in my garden. I mulch constantly and have tons of success with almost every thing. But last year my blueberries were new plants and after harvesting a few berrie...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center