Chamomile

Close encounters of the Chamomile kind

When chamomile presents itself to you in three different ways¬†in as many days, I guess it’s time to take heed. ūüėÄ First encounter-¬†North Shore Herb Group At our monthly meeting this past Monday, we had a lovely lady come talk to us about the blending of herbs for therapeutic teas. We all tasted teas, and […]

Edible Flowers #9 – Citrus blossoms

Native to Southeast Asia, originating perhaps in Southern China or Northeastern India, and in cultivation for over 4000 years, the citrus genus bears¬†some of the world’s favourite fruit. Although it is commonly agreed that there are around 16 species of these evergreen flowering trees and shrubs,¬†the taxonomy of citrus can be¬†quite confusing and inconsistent. The […]

Lavender

Edible Flowers #7 – Lavender

What an enchanting herb, Lavender (Lavandula spp)¬†is! Long associated with the English cottage garden, or picturesque purple lavender hills in the French countryside, Lavender is loved and grown all over the world today. Lavenders have long been¬†used as a medicine for various ailments, and in the household to perfume and repel insects. Today, it is […]

Edible Flowers #6 – Hollyhock & Hibiscus

  I have to confess to not having eaten either Hollyhocks (Althaea rosea; syn. Alcea rosea) or Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) before, but they are both on my absolutely all-time favourite flower list, and I am terribly excited for my Hibiscus and Hollyhocks to flower later this summer so that I can get experimenting with adding […]

Edible Flowers #5 – Italian Herb Flowers

Inspirational for their cooking, the Italians love using herbs and seasonings in their recipes. Using the flowers of herbs are also not anything new, with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver bringing the joy of their use to light yet again. Common to Italian Herb Seasoning, and collectively named the Mediterranean Herbs, for it is in […]

Dandelion

Edible Flowers #4 – Weed Flowers (Dandelion, Daisy, Clover)

I can certainly go on and on about the nutritional and medical virtues of some plants commonly seen as pesky weeds – but that’s a different story for a different day – today though, it is these same weeds whose flowers we are going to have a look at for the fourth installment in our […]

Dianthus

Edible Flowers #3 – Dianthus & ssp

Clove pinks, pinks, sweet William, carnations and gillyflowers -all part of the delightful dianthus family. Dianthus means flower of flowers (or more literally god of flowers:¬†dios (god) and anthos (flower)), a name bestowed on this herb by the Greeks and dedicated to their “sky father”. It was held in high regard with the Romans too, […]

Calendula officinalis

Edible Flowers #2 – Calendula

Calendula patch Another cheerful¬†little flower popping up in early spring is the pretty yellow or orange Calendula. They¬†are favourites in cottage gardens, and flower almost continuously from early spring to late autumn. It is this¬†belief¬†that they bloom on the first day of each month (Latin: calends), or kalendae, which gave rise to their botanical name. […]

Tagetes and Calendula

The Importance of Latin Botanical Names

The first thing that come to mind with Calendula to me, is “The Importance of Plant Names”Too often plants are called by their common names, and in the world of herbs, this may cause some problems and confusion. Calendulas and Marigolds are a prime example. While Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is an edible flower and medicinal […]

Edible flowers #1 – Viola family

Greeting the early spring of each year, sweet violets, violas, violettas, and pansies, favourites in gardens world wide,¬†rarely fail¬†to make one smile with their charming little faces. Pansies differ from violets in that pansy flowers have four petals pointing upwards and only one directed downwards. Meet the family Sweet Violet Best-loved of the true violets, […]