Aren’t flowers pretty? They come in just about every color in the rainbow and many of them smell almost as good as they look.
But did you know flowers can do more than just look pretty and smell good? Most flowers can be used in arts and crafts projects, while many others can be eaten and used to make food taste good.
Some flowers are even used in some of the medicines we take to make us feel better when we are sick!
Let’s look at some of the amazing things flowers can do…
Flowers that turn into food
Did you know that fruits and vegetables start out as flowers? They do! The white blossoms on an apple tree in the spring are the apples you pick in the fall. The pink flowers on a peach tree in the spring are the peaches you bite into in late summer. But that’s not all…
- Green beans don’t become green beans until after they’ve been little pink-white that are shaped like a seed.
- Pumpkins start out as big yellow flowers that look like miniature horns.
- The big red tomatoes we eat and use to make lasagna (and lots of other things) start out as little yellow flowers with bright green centers.
- Strawberries are pretty white flowers with tiny brown dots on them and green centers before they turn into juicy, red berries.
- Peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, oranges are a few of the other fresh fruits and veggies start out as flowers, too.
Flowers used for food
Some flowers don’t have to turn into a fruit or vegetable before they are eaten. Some flowers are used just the way they are. BEWARE: Ask your parents before eating flowers to make sure they are clean and have not been sprayed with bug spray or fertilizer!
- Chamomile flowers are tiny white/yellow flowers used to make tea. Chamomile tea helps you feel better when you have a cold and can help you relax when you are scared.
- Carnations petals are sweet, but be sure you don’t eat the white part at the bottom of each petal—it’s very bitter.
- Clover flowers should be eaten before they are turning brown. Clover flowers taste like licorice and have been used for hundreds of years to help keep your fingernails strong and healthy and to cure coughs and stomach problems.
- Honeysuckle flowers are sweet and delicious. But be careful! The berries and leaves of the plant are poisonous.
- Rose petals are one of the most popular flowers to eat. Some have a spicy taste. Others taste sweet like apples or berries. Don’t eat the white part at the bottom of the rose petal, though…it’s VERY bitter.
- Sunflower buds. Sunflowers are better if you eat them before they bloom. They taste like artichokes.
The group of plants called herbs (erbs) makes our food taste better. Oregano makes pizza sauce taste zingy! Mint makes things…minty and parsley helps get rid of bad breath. Sometimes we use the leaves of herbs to make food taste good, but the flowers on these plants can be tasty, too.
The pretty purple flowers of the chive plant give salads a mild onion taste without the onions.
Garlic cloves are little bulbs used in lots and lots of foods we eat. But the pink or white garlic flowers taste good, too.
Sage, ginger and lavender flowers can all be eaten, too.
Flowers to make you feel better
When you are sick your parents take you to the doctor or get medicine from the store to help you get well. But when your grandparents or great-grandparents were little, they weren’t always able to go to the doctor. People who lived in the country didn’t have doctors, either. So what did they use for medicine? Flowers, that’s what!
Many flowers are used to make medicine that can stop you from coughing, get rid of a headache, make your stomach feel better, and even heal your skin when you get burned.
Isn’t that amazing? Here are some of the flowers that can be used as medicine:
- Calendula can help heal cuts and burns.
- Dandelions can be brewed to make tea to cure stomach aches.
- Boil honeysuckle flowers in water and gargle the warm honeysuckle water to cure a sore throat.
- A spoonful or two of lilac water can take away your fever.
NOTE: It is dangerous to use flowers for medicine unless you know how to do so.
Flowers are pretty to look at—we all know that. But did you know flowers can be used to make all kinds of things? Flowers can be used to make…
- Bookmarks and pictures
- Soaps and lotions
If you were going to make something out of the flowers in your yard, what would you make?
Use the list of edible flowers to make a salad for your family’s dinner.