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

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Tuesday - May 07, 2013

From: Ennis, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Can bluebonnets be made into jelly from Ennis TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are Texas bluebonnet flowers okay for human consumption? I have seen recipes for wild violet jelly,so was wondering about making bluebonnet jelly from the bluebonnet blossoms if they are not poisonous.

ANSWER:

From Prairieland Herbs, here is possibly the recipe for violet jelly to which you were referring.

We found that Mr. Smarty Plants had already answered questions on the toxicity Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) before. Just to bring you up to speed, here are those previous questions:

From Odessa, TX

From Prairievile LA

From Pearland TX

Here's what we are taking away from those answers:

1. The seeds seem to have the most toxicity, and since horses and cows will often graze on nearly everything, the fact that the somewhat unattractive seeds are sticking out there (as opposed to the blooms, which are long gone by then) are what gets nibbled.

2. You must be very sure no man-made poisons are on the flowers, such as pesticides for fire ants, or herbicides for weeds.

3. Beyond that, we could find no proof that they could not be eaten in a jelly, but frankly the violet jelly sounds like it's a whole lot of sugar and a little color from the flowers. If you have bluebonnets that you know could not have been sprayed with who-knows-what and don't mind denying the bees their treats, you could certainly go ahead and try it.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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