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Shrinking Violet

Took a trip to the NT Knighthayes Court today (just outside Tiverton in Devon).  The kitchen garden is wonderful - well laid out and well labelled.  There is a section of ground given over to tubers and, as you would expect, potatoes of varying cultivars are labelled, row by row.  But there are two rows of dahlias, which, it is said, are edible.  I never knew that!  You learn something new every day!

Edible - well I for one am not going to try eating them - although I do eat edoes & cassava and they don't look that great either but do taste nice.


I think I will stick to potatoes to eat, and Dahlias to look at.


They are eaten quite a lot in Spain. The spanish have selected for good quality eating over the years whereas we have selected for ornament. I suspect the Bishop of Llandaff will not be good eating.


Edible doesn't necessarily means tastes good. It just means it won't poison you  for example  - parsnips


I've just recovered pansyface. It's almost cannibalism. 

As for parsnips. Yummity yum yum.

Cassava or manioc is very popular in my country. Steamed cassava mix with coconut milk and white sesame.



Lots of weeds are said to be tasty and nutritious , such as chickweed and goosegrass.  You cook it like spinach.  Never been tempted.


Saka Saka, looks delish!!

You can eat goosegrass raw too!  Mind you rather chomp on nice bit of fresh spring growth, it tastes a bit bitter now!   I learnt that purple (and white actually though not as sweet) clover flowers are edible too last week!  Pretty cool! 


The slugs  in my garden have always known that Dahlias are edible.


I am sure that the slugs are edible too.

I first read about Dahlia tubers being edible in James Wong's 'Homegrown Revolution' book, where he has a recipe for dahlia rosti.

I'd like to try them, but I love the flowers too much!

When I learnt about eating fiddlehead ferns, it had much the same effect on me as the thought of eating hostas had on poor Hostafan! It's cannabilism! (the last 'f' in pbff stands for 'fern' and I'm a total fern freak). Haven't had the heart to chop the new croziers off my lovely ferns just to eat them.

I have never tried eating Hostas either.

I do eat the fresh young leaves of the hawthorn in spring - they taste beautifully green and sappy.

Ramsons is a great seasoning in soups and anywhere else to replace garlic.

I like to use dandelion leaves and flowers in salads - the leaves must be young, as older ones taste very bitter.

Calendula, rose and dianthus petals are also added to salads, along with borage flowers and nasturtium flowers and leaves. Nasturtium flowers go brilliantly with pork, by the way.

Rose and dianthus petals and viola flowers are crystallised for cake decorating.

Lavander leaves and flowers are used in shortbread and for making lavender sugar.

I have eaten hemerocallis flowers and they're quite nice - a slightly spicy flavour.

Ground elder is supposed to taste quite good  by all accounts, but haven't got round to trying it yet.

Himalayan Balsam seeds are edible too, apparantly not be missed, although fortunately I don't have any of it and I certainly shan't be looking for any!

I like Amelanchier berries, except that the birds get to them first most of the time!

Fuchsia berries are nice too - some species/cultivars taste better than others.



No.  Hugh F-W cooked them several ways in one of his shows on the grounds that they are just snails without shells and the entire team concluded they are inedible.

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