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Re: [pfaf] help wanted re edible flowers

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  • Ken Fern
    Dear Carrie, The main reference to the edibility of the flowers is found in the book Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. by J.J.
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 9, 2003
      Dear Carrie,

      The main reference to the edibility of the flowers is found in the book
      "Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest." by J.J.
      There are also some references in "Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible
      Plants." by Stephen Facciola.
      "Plants for Human Consumption." by G. Kunkel (which says they should be
      boiled first)
      "Earth Medicine, Earth Food." by M.A. Weiner
      and "Native American Ethnobotany" by Daniel Moerman. (only the nectar is

      I have eaten the flowers of several species myself (though mainly Aquilegia
      vulgaris and various cultivars of it), my two young children also quite like
      them, especially the double-flowered forms. As far as I know, we have all
      survived the experience, and even enjoyed it!!!

      The flowers of most plants, if not exactly desirable to eat, are generally
      edible. The main exception I have come across is the genus Rhododendron, the
      pollen of which is said to be toxic. I certainly would not eat the flowers
      of some of the more toxic species of plants, such as Aconitum, but the
      toxicity of Aquilegia is of a rather low order (indeed there are reports
      that the leaves and even roots of some species have been used for food) and
      so I do feel that the flowers are safe (though we do give a warning on each
      entry in our database for this genus of possible toxicity).

      I hope that answers your query.

      Ken Fern

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Carrie Thomas" <carrie.thomas@...>
      To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 8:28 PM
      Subject: [pfaf] help wanted re edible flowers

      > I'm really into edible flowers.......or thought I was until entering the
      > pfaf website search on edible flowers and being totally awed!
      > However, I'm also rather alarmed. Numerous Aquilegias are mentioned. I
      > have a special interest in this genus and have never come across any other
      > reference to their edibility. No...most references cite their poisonous
      > quaality as plants, tho' I believe seeds have been used...often for their
      > purgitive effect I believe. The new aquilegia monograph doesn't mention
      > their edible flowers only, so I'm not alone in my ignorance. Can anyone
      > calm my concerns? Anyone eaten them..........and still here?!!
      > cheers -Carrie-
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