Question: Are nasturtium blossoms safe to eat?
Answer: Nasturtiums are one of the more well-known flowers used in cooking. Others include marigolds, carnations, roses, pansies, squash blossoms, daylilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, lavender, hollyhocks, gardenias, and, of course, dandelions and clover. Brides are used to seeing candied violets on wedding cakes, a tradition that goes back to at least the 17th century. Both the Chinese and Japanese consider chrysanthemums a powerful emblem of youth. A petal placed in the bottom of a glass of wine is thought to enhance longevity. The Chinese also believe that it prevents gray hair. Daylilies have been highly regarded by the Chinese as well, partly for their vitamins and minerals but also for their reputation for easing worries and a troubled mind. Nasturtiums, to get back to your question, are readily grown and naturally beautiful. They’re high in vitamin C and reputed to contain a healthful ingredient that seems to mimic penicillin in warding off infection. The leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems are edible and have a peppery taste, which can turn bitter if they’re left too long before serving. Their common name is Indian cress, because their taste resembles that of watercress.