By: Lara Velez
Ah…Spring. After months of cold weather, of course you think of flowers when spring arrives. I will cover many different angles of the beautiful flowers of Spring, including; edible flowers, toxic flowers, flower recipes, tips on how to care for them, and rose colors…what do they say? Come…join me…
The Best Flowers for Spring
Please note: Not all of the flowers in this article are edible. Please see the list below for which flowers are edible and which ones are poisonous.
Tulips – (from genus “Tulipa”) From the Turkish for turban, after its rounded form. They are originally from the Middle East and are available November to May (January to April for British tulips).
Tulip Care Tips: Tulips continue to grow in water and will curve towards the light. Make allowances for this when putting them in a vase or wrap the stems tightly in newspaper and stand them in water directly beneath a light for a few hours.
Dill – The botanical name is Anethem graveolens. Graveolens means having a strong scent. Dill is available from spring to autumn. It is a cousin of the humble carrot. Dill has a pungent and tangy flavor. It is best used with breads, fish, cheese, salads, and vegetables – especially cucumbers.
Dill Care Tips: Part sun part shade, keep damp, but not over-wet.
Lily of the Valley – (from genus “Convallaria”, full name “Convallaria majalis”) It was first cultivated in1420. It is mostly available in the months of April and May. The Lily of the Valley signifies a “return to happiness”. It is also frequently used in bridal arrangements for their sweet perfume. Traditionally associated with May 1st, especially in France where the “muguet” is handed out at special events.
Lily of the Valley Care Tips: Must not be left out of water too long. Keep cool and shaded.
Sweet Pea – Botanical name is Lathyrus odoratus – odoratus means scented. They originated in Italy and are available March to November. Sweet peas mean “delicate pleasures”.
Sweet Pea Care Tips: Keep cool, always in water, and away from ripening fruit. Commercial sweet peas are treated after cutting to prolong their life; garden-cut ones may only last one or two days but florists’ peas can last over a week.
Roses – (from genus “Rosaceae”) Botanical name Rosa – It is originally from China and is now cultivated from America to Africa and from Eastern Europe to the Far East. It is available all year round and probably the best known and best-loved flower in the world.
Rose Care Tips: Limp roses can be revived by standing up to their necks in lukewarm water in a cool room. Do not bash the stems as this prevents them taking up water effectively.
Speaking of roses, the next time you buy them for someone special, make sure that you pick the right color for the person or occasion.
ROSE COLOR MEANINGS:
Red: love, respect, and devotion
Deep Pink: gratitude, appreciation, and thank you
Light Pink: admiration, respect, sympathy, and regard
White: reverence, humility
Yellow: joy, gladness, friendship, and social
Orange: enthusiasm, desire
Red and Yellow: gaiety, joviality, fun-loving, humorous
What about eating flowers? Well there are some you can and some you need to steer clear of!
DO NOT EAT: Lily-of-the-Valley, Bleeding Heart, Buttercup, Iris, Calla Lily, Narcissus or Daffodil, Lupine, Petunia, Sweet Pea, Monkshood, Periwinkle, Rhododendron and Azalea, Oleander, Delphinium, Clematis, Foxglove, Hellebore, Wisteria, Crocus, Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Nightshade, and African Violet…just to name a few.
EDIBLE SPRING FLOWERS
APPLE – May – Slightly floral, sour
CHERVIL – May/June – parsley-like with a hint of tarragon, citrus
CHIVE – May/June – onion, strong
CORIANDER – June/Frost – like leaf, but more fragrant
ENGLISH DAISY – April/Sept – mild
DANDELION – May/July – like leaves, bitter
DILL – June/Frost – like leaves, but stronger
ELDERBERRY – May/June – floral, mild
GRAPE HYACINTH – April/May – grapey, bitter after-taste, slight sour
HONEYSUCKLE – May/July – honey sweet, perfumed
LILAC – April/May – perfumed, slightly bitter
MUSTARD – April/May – hot, mustard
GARDEN PEA – May/June – raw peas
PLUM – April/May – mild, like flower nectar
ROSE – May/Sept – perfume, sweet to bitter
GARDEN SAGE – May/July – flowery sage, slightly musky
SCENTED GERANIUM – throughout year – varies, slightly sour or bitter
SWEET WOODRUFF – May – sweet, grassy, vanilla
TULIP – April/May – slightly bitter or sweet
VIOLET (PANSY) – April/July – Mild, leafy green, some varieties sweet
If you plan on entertaining this spring…you may want to make a beautiful flower ice bowl for presentation of one of your cold dishes or use it as a centerpiece.
FLOWER ICE BOWL CENTER PIECE:
You will need:
assorted spring flowers…or just one kind
2 glass bowls with a size difference of 2 inches
Place a few of your flowers on the bottom of the larger bowl. Place the smaller bowl in the larger bowl, on top of the flowers. Fill the space between the bowls, slowly, with water. Using a skewer to push them down into the water, add the rest of your flowers in the space around the bowl. Secure the smaller bowl in the larger bowl using the masking tape. Wrap the tape tightly across the top of the bowls, making sure that the smaller bowl is centered. Freeze at least 4 hours, or overnight. Remove from freezer and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently pull smaller bowl and remove your ice bowl from larger bowl. Put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
You can use these ice bowls to serve; salad, custards, fruit, sherbert, or you may fill it with fresh flowers and use it as a centerpiece.
This is also great for other seasons. Just change the type of flower and greenery to fit the season!
Copyright © Lara Velez, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved