Wildflowers are brilliant for the bees, birds and butterflies- but did you know that some of them are good for you too….? I’ve picked out 5 wildflowers that are also EDIBLE, and can be used in salads, as decorations, however you creative you feel! Many can also be grown in large containers on the balcony or patio too, you don’t need half an acre to have a wildflower garden you know, and you can grow in raised beds for accessibility.
1. Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis)
My favourite little blue spring delight is actually edible you know! A beautiful way to decorate cupcakes and cheesecakes! I adore their powder blue colour, and the sprays would add something very different to salads, because the usual accent of colour is a red tomato- surprise everyone with BLUE!
2. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
You can eat your yarrow fresh or cooked, and it’s good for you too!! The ferny appearance of the foliage is a fun addition to salads, but do use them when young for the most tender of flavours. Yarrow has also been known to be used as a preservative for beer, and Achilles (where the name comes from) used the plant medicinally to heal the wounds of his soldiers!
3. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Whilst it’s often planted as cattle fodder, the foliage and flower are actually quite tasty to us humans too! The clover leaves can be added to a summer salad, as can the crested, pinky blooms! Red clover grow wild in many places around the worldwide: Native Americans used it as a salve for burns, whilst the Chinese used it as a tonic, and also burnt it as incense.
4. Mallow (Malva moschata)
So many parts of this wildflower are edible; from the leaves to the flowers to the seeds! The leaves are good for you, and bulk out summer salads very nicely, and are available from the spring too. The flowers taste mild, but their pink flower packs a punch. Lastly, the unripe seeds have a nutty taste and look like mini ‘cheeses’- what fun!
5. Cowslip (Primula veris)
You may have seen that Primroses are edible, well their cousin, the Cowslip, is too! They can make a nice tea, or even used to make cowslip wine! Flowers have been used for many years in salads, to decorate cakes, or been pickled! Next time you’re in the countryside you’re going to look at the hedgerow a whole lot differently!
Take a look at Michael’s website http://mrplantgeek.com