Although cold weather isn’t quite behind us, Spring has definitely arrived. The flowers are just beginning to wake from their long slumber and emerge reborn from their earthy graves. Pretty soon we’ll be surrounded by gorgeous shades of pink, white, yellow, orange, purple, and everything in between. My absolute favorite part of Spring is finding new wild edibles growing around our land. It seems every year brings a new discovery, and a unique addition to our foraged meals.
Flower jellies have become a fun staple in our food pantry as I’ve been learning more about which blossoms are safe to be consumed. It has been surprising to discover how many of the flowers I’ve planted around my home for landscaping purposes are actually edible! Now when I plant flowers, I specifically look for varieties that are not only beautiful to look at, but are edible, medicinal, or otherwise useful in a survival situation.
If you don’t have fruit or berry bushes readily accessible, or if you just like to experiment with different flavors, flower blossoms make an excellent (and free!) ingredient to add to your next batch of jelly. Don’t forget to share them with your friends! These unique jellies make wonderful gifts.
Here are 16 awesome ideas for jellies you can make from foraged flower blossoms…
This is my family’s personal favorite. Every year, my children and I gather gallons of honeysuckle blossoms from the vines in our woods to make this amazing Honeysuckle Jelly. We swear it tastes just like honey. Enjoy it spread over a hot, fresh biscuit.
Violets love to grow wild in lawns, in cultivated flower beds, and along the edge of the woods. The blossoms are delicious eaten fresh, but they also make a fantastic and completely gorgeous Violet Jelly.
Lilacs are another edible blossom that make a delicious jelly . If you don’t happen to have any growing wild in your area, plant a bush in a sunny location in your yard and enjoy your own homemade lilac jelly straight from your own backyard!
I know you have dandelions growing in your yard… or at least somewhere in your neighborhood! If you’ve been spraying these so-called weeds… stop it! They’re packed full of vitamins, and their roots make an excellent liver tonic. But besides the medicinal value of dandelions, you’ll love the sweet, golden jelly you can make from these pervasive flowers. Just be sure to harvest them from somewhere you know hasn’t been sprayed- and always wash them well before cooking.
Sunflowers are a great addition to your backyard homestead. Not only can you harvest their seeds to enjoy yourself or supplement your animal’s feed, but you can also make Sunflower Jelly from those lovely yellow petals. If you’ve never grown sunflowers, pick up a pack of seeds and give them a try this year! The birds and bees will love you for it.
If you live in the South, no doubt you are all too familiar with Kudzu’s invasive ways. All along our highways you will find entire forests swallowed with this uncontrollable vine. Fortunately, Kudzu isn’t a complete nuisance. It does hold medicinal properties, as well as usefulness for making baskets and ropes, among other things. It’s also totally edible, and makes an amazing Kudzu Blossom Jelly.
Wildflowers grow everywhere, so no matter where you live you can make some variation of this Hegderow Jelly. The flavors will vary depending on the blossom varieties you use, but the method would stay the same. Just be sure to forage from somewhere you know to be safe and free from pesticides and herbicides, and always double check if you aren’t 100% sure you’ve properly identified a wild edible. You can’t be too careful when foraging!
Around here we call Queen Anne’s Lace “chigger bushes”, because they’re notoriously infested with tiny little bugs that will jump off of the white umbrella shaped blossoms and cause itchy bumps anywhere you have skin exposed. In the foraging world, this plant is also known as Wild Carrot. Just be sure you know the difference between Queen Anne’s Lace and deadly Hemlock before you go to pick that blossom. One touch of Hemlock can make you deathly ill. The main differences in identification of these two look-alikes are these:
- Queen Anne’s Lace has a hairy stem. (“Queen Ann has hairy legs.”)
- Hemlock has a smooth stem.
- Queen Anne’s Lace has a solid green stem.
- Hemlock has reddish streaks on the stem.
- Queen Anne’s Lace will often have a tiny scarlet colored flower in the middle of the white blossom.
- Hemlock is solid white.
- Queen Anne’s Lace roots smell like a carrot.
- Hemlock has a foul smell.
Once you’re sure you have Queen Anne’s Lace without a doubt, give this Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly recipe a try!
Lavender is another beautiful plant to have growing all around your home. It has so many great uses, one of which of course is a heavenly Lavender Jelly. If you’re interested in planting some, I’d recommend that you choose a long-stemmed variety- these have more uses than their low growing sisters.
10. Elderflower Jelly
We usually allow our Elderflowers to mature into deep purple berries to make elderberry syrup, but if you have an abundance and would like to find an alternate use for your elder plants, Elderflower Vanilla Jelly is another great way to use this edible plant!
11. Hibiscus Jelly
You’ll want to make sure you have the right kind of Hibiscus to make this decadent jelly. It often goes by the name “Roselle” Hibiscus. We’re growing this particular variety to make drinks out of, but Hibiscus Jelly sounds pretty amazing as well!
No matter where you live, you’re sure to find patches of red and white clover growing wild in your yard, in the cracks of the sidewalk, and along the roadside. The next time you pass a patch that’s pretty far from foot traffic, put it to good use with this White Clover Jelly Recipe, or this White Wine and Red Clover Blossom Jelly!
Roses are amazing plants, especially the Rosa Rugosa variety. The Rugosa is known for growing large rose hips which are loaded with Vitamin C. I like using the rose hips to make an immune boosting tea whenever we feel a cold coming on. Rose Petal Jelly looks like another great way to use this versatile plant!
Not only are Nasturtiums great companion plants in the garden, effective at repelling whiteflies, squash bugs, and pumpkin beetles, they’re also delicious to munch fresh off the plant! The red and orange petals are an appealing addition to a fresh summer salad; they also make a lovely flower jelly.
15. Marigold Jelly Recipe
Pot Marigolds, also known as Calendula, are my favorite variety to grow. Calendula has medicinal properties, and is great for skin issues. It also acts as a pest repellant in the garden. Who knew you could make jelly with those fragrant blossoms?
Forsythia is one of those plants that you see growing EVERYWHERE in the South. It’s hard not to notice those bright yellow bushes lining the property of so many homes. This beautiful shrub pairs nicely with dandelions and honey, and makes an amazing Forsythia blossom jelly.
So, what’s your favorite flower jelly?