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

Plant identification in Georgia
September 14, 2011 - I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a plant with bumpy red fruit
April 26, 2011 - I have a bush with red berry like pods on it. They are about 3/4 of an inch bumpy round with a big seed inside. The leaves are smooth and oval shape. Please let me know if it is poisonous or not, and...
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in northeastern Ohio
February 12, 2009 - I am doing a project and i was wondering what are five native edible plants to the northeastern Ohio region. Also if you could tell the seasons they are available. Thank You,
view the full question and answer

Recommendation for red raspberry species for Connecticut
May 31, 2009 - Hello, I was wondering if you could recommend any red raspberries that I can grow in Connecticut. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Blossom end rot on non-native tomatoes from Newport RI
April 25, 2014 - Can epsom salt or eggshells end blossom end rot on tomatoes?
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