A Partial List of Nonedible or Poisonous Flowers

A Partial List of Inedible or Poisonous Flowers

Azalea                              Azalea spp. (Rhododendron spp.)
Boxwood                         Buxus spp.
Burning Bush                    Euonymus spp.
Caladium                          Caladium spp.
Clematis                           Clematis spp.
Daffodil                            Narcissus spp.
Delphinium (Larkspur)      Delphinium spp.
Elephant Ears                   Colocasia antiquorum
Four O'Clock                   Mirabilis jalapa
Foxglove                          Digitalis purpurea
Hyacinth                           Hyacinthus orientalis 
Hydrangea                        Hydrangea spp.
Iris                                    Iris spp.
Ivy (English Ivy)                Hedera helix
Jack-in-the-Pulpit              Arisaemia triphyllum
Lantana                            Lantana camara
Lily of the Valley               Convallaria majalis
Lobelia                             Lobelia spp.
Morning Glory                  Ipomoea violacea
Mountain Laurel               Kalmia latifolia
Periwinkle                        Vinca spp.
Privet                               Ligustrum spp.
Rhododendron                 Rhododendron spp.
Sweet Pea                        Lathyrus spp.
Wisteria                            Wisteria spp.
Source:  "Edible Flowers:  From Garden to Palate" by Cathy Wilkinson Barash

My buddy, Kathleen Gips at The Village Herb Shop asked about petunias.  I remember in our garden when I was growing up, the rabbits loved our petunias.  I thought they might be an edible flower and the link I gave you for inedible flowers has an edibles list and petunia is on it.  I wanted to dig a bit deeper.  When I did talks on edible flowers,  I found a photocopy of a February 1990 article in Organic Gardening magazine by Rosalind Creasy.  She is one of my go to authors about edible flowers.  I'm going to add these following flowers to my list because she says to avoid them because no reliable documentation for their safety has been found:

Bachelor's Buttons           Centaurus cyanus
Impatiens                         Impatiens spp.
Mullein                            Verbascum spp.
Petunias                           Petunias spp.
Primrose                          Primula spp.
Snapdragons                    Antirrhinum spp.

I greatly respect Rosalind Creasy and think that it is better to lean on the side of avoidance than to have a bad reaction because you aren't sure and decide to experiment!

I have given you a lot of the more common inedible and poisonous plants in this list.  This is an additional list from homecooking at about.com for non-edible poisonous flowers.  Oh, look, black locust is still on the list!  Now you know that black locust may have some toxic parts, but the flowers are edible.  So please do your own research.  I will be adding your additionals as necessary.

© 2013 Nancy Heraud

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