11 Edible Wildflowers

Wildflowers are diverse and can be used as a food source for you and your kids. You can forage for edible flowers and leaves in your garden to add color and flavor to your foods.

Once you learn to identify the edible wildflowers from the poisonous wildflowers you can eat fresh food or introduce new elements to your diet. Here’s a list of edible wildflowers.

1. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

The leaves of the purple coneflower can be eaten as alternatives to spinach. Dried roots and flowers can be used to make herbal tea which is beneficial to the immune system. The petals can be used as a food color additive.  

Purple coneflower is a perennial native to America. It produces daisy-like purple flowers that bloom throughout the summer. They are rich in nectar and attract pollinators and butterflies. It is suitable for garden borders and wildflower meadows. It matures 24-60 inches high and 18-24 inches wide. It spreads aggressively and is self-seeding during spring. 

  • It flourishes in full sunlight. 
  • Grows well in well-drained, dry soils. Highly drought tolerant. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 3-8. 

2. Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)

Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)
Photo by Forest and Kim Starr

Pansies can be used as a replacement for lettuce in a salad. They have a mild floral flavor, making them a good addition to desserts, cookies, and cakes. They are rich in compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

Pansies are vigorous spreading perennials that produce heart-shaped white, purple or blue flowers. They bloom during spring and summer. Pansies are self-seeding. They can grow well in poor soils. They mature to a height of 4-8 inches and spread 4-6 inches. 

  • Thrives under full sunlight or partial shade.
  • Grows best in well-drained, slightly acidic soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 7-11. 

3. Wood Sorrel (Oxalis depressa)

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis depressa)
Photo by John Johnston

The leaves of Oxalis are edible. The flowers can be used to add color and flavor to salads, seafood and other foods typically seasoned with lemons. However, it should be eaten in moderation as oxalic acid may reduce calcium absorption and should be avoided by people prone to kidney stones, have gout or rheumatism.

This South American native perennial produces funnel-shaped bright pink flowers with yellow centers. They bloom from summer to fall. Oxalis matures at 2-6 inches tall and 3-5 inches wide. It can be planted in containers or along garden pathways. 

  • Thrives in full sunlight or partial shade. 
  • Grows well in well-drained, acidic or neutral soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 7-10. 

4. Borage (Boragon officinalis)

Borage (Boragon officinalis)
Photo by Teresa Grau Ros

This plant produces blue flowers which have a taste similar to cucumber. They can be added to salads and other meals. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids that improve blood pressure. The leaves can be used in cold drinks and salads. 

Borage is an annual wildflower native to the Mediterranean. It has star-shaped blue flowers that bloom from early summer through fall. It matures at 1-3ft high and spreads 9-24 inches wide. It attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It is a perfect plant for garden borders and wildflower meadows. 

  • Thrive under full sunlight or partial shade. 
  • Grows best in poor, acidic or neutral and well drained soils.
  • USDA hardiness zones 2-11. 

5. Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)

The flowers of dandelions have highly nutritious yellow petals which can be eaten, raw or cooked. The roots, stems and leaves are edible, whether eaten on their own or used in a salad. The roots can be used to make tea. The leaves can be consumed raw, used as a sandwich topping or cooked in a stew. 

Dandelions are native to Europe and Asia. The leaves are high in potassium, calcium and iron. They spread easily and mature at 2-6 inches high and 2-6 inches wide. They produce yellow flowers that bloom during the spring. 

  • Thrive in full sunlight.
  • Grows well in acidic or neutral and well-drained soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 3-9. 

6. Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Photo by Joshua Mayer

The flowers can be made into tea when fresh or dried. Young buds and flowers can be added to smoothies. They have a bitter taste that can prevent some people from enjoying them. They can be used as a great addition to vegetable and fruit salads.

This perennial produces white flowers with yellow centers that bloom from late spring to late summer. They attract pollinators, bees and butterflies. Grows moderately and matures at 1-2ft high and 24 inches wide. 

  • Thrives under full sunlight. 
  • Grows well in moist, well-drained soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 3-9. 

7. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum spp.)

Photo by Amanda Slater

They have a pepper-like taste, making them a great option for salads. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The flowers can be used as a garnish in salads and pastries. 

Nasturtiums produce yellow, white, pink or orange flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. They are perfect for garden borders and edges. They mature at 1-10ft high and 1-3ft wide. They are great options for companion planting. 

  • Thrive under full sunlight.
  • Grows well in well-drained, moist, acidic or alkaline soils.
  • USDA hardiness 9-11. 

8. Japanese Honeysuckle (Lacionera japonica)

Honeysuckle is used to make herbal tea. It can be processed into a syrup, which can replace sugar in bread preparation. 

This evergreen plant produces white tubular flowers that bloom during late spring. It grows aggressively but is unlikely to become invasive. It matures at 30ft high and 6ft wide. Japanese Honeysuckle is high maintenance, requiring deheading in winter to control its spreading. 

  • Thrives in full sunlight or partial shade.
  • Grows well in well-drained, dry soils. It is drought tolerant. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 4-9. 

9. Clover (Trifolium spp.)

Clover (Trifolium spp.)

Clover is a pea family member and is thus rich in protein. It has a mild sweet taste and can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked into a soup or stew. Fresh or dried clover can be used to make herbal teas. 

Clover is naturalized to many areas of America. It is an herbaceous perennial with white blooms that appear from May to June. Perfect for garden meadows and walkways. It matures at 0.5ft tall and 1-1.5ft wide. It is low maintenance and will not require mowing. 

  • Thrives under full sunlight or partial shade.
  • Grows well in well-drained, slightly acidic soils.
  • USDA hardiness zones 3-10. 

10. Viola flowers (Viola odorata)

The leaves and flowers are edible and rich in vitamins. They can be eaten fresh or dried. They are a perfect addition to salads or dessert garnish. They can be made into a tea or wine. 

This perennial, native to Europe produces attractive foliage and dark-blue or purple flowers that bloom in late winter and early spring. It matures at 6-10 inches tall and spreads 12-18 inches. 

  • Thrives in full sunlight or partial shade. 
  • Grows well in well-drained fertile soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 4-9. 

11. Hollyhocks (Alcea spp.)

Photo by Devra

This versatile species produces edible flowers with a mild sweet taste. It can be used in salads and garnishes. Some variants have edible leaves.

Hollyhocks are herbaceous perennials, native to Asia and Europe. It produces black-purple flowers that bloom from mid to late summer. They are vigorous spreaders, maturing at 5ft high and 2ft wide. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 

  • Thrives in full sunlight. 
  • Grows well in well-drained acidic or alkaline soils. 
  • USDA hardiness zones 3-9. 


Some wildflower species are highly nutritious, can be eaten raw and offer a cheap and readily available alternative to your food. You can integrate edible wildflowers in your meadow to enjoy their benefits.