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Edible Flowers Suitable for use in Home Winemaking

"Flowers make interesting wines...."

Flower Wines

I like to make flower wines. I've never made one that wasn't really enjoyable in the right setting or with the right pairing. In truth, I haven't made nearly enough, mainly because I don't really have access to enough flowers, or I do but can't get to them when they'r blooming. But I intend to add a few to my resume before before I check out, and to that end I've compiled a list of edible flowers that should be suitable for winemaking.

Before getting to the list, there are a few things I should mention. A few of the flowers on the list can be found on lists of "toxic plants." While these lists are useful, they only identify plants that have some form of toxin somewhere in their system, and the toxin(s) that put them on the lists may only be mildly toxic to, say, sheep, or cats. But many of these flowers -- notably the composites -- simply contain pollens that some people are allergic to, and for some strange reason the definition of "toxic" has been expanded by the creators of some "toxic plants" lists to include those with pollen allergens. If you suffer from hay fever, stay away from the composite flowers and any others you know cause you a problem. For the vast majority of us, none of these flowers will cause us problems. For the remaining few listed somewhere as belonging to plants that are "toxic" in some sense, I have done enough research in each case to decide that I would make wine with this flower. You have to decide for yourself if you would.

As a related issue, some flowers are perfectly fine but the plants they grow on are not, or are least could pose a health problem in some way. Take wood sorrel, for example. The flowers are fine for making wine and the leaves can be eaten in very small quantities, but the leaves contain high amounts of oxalic acid which in larger quantities is quite toxic. Look before you leap, do your research, and make flower wines from the flowers only.

Next, since I have not made wine with most of the flowers listed below, I cannot guide you as to the amount of flowers one might need to best integrate any one flower's qualities. These qualities range from the licorice-reminiscence of angelica and anise hyssop, the oregano-mint- citrus flavor of bee balm petals, the spicy to peppery tang of calendula, the slightly spicy, clove-like flavor of cornflowers, and so on. You should taste any flower you intend to make wine with to discover it's own unique flavor characteristics -- even make a cup of tea with it. The flavor you taste is only a clue. That flavor will change during fermentation, but I can't advise you as to how. Each wine is different. Different yeasts metabolize different qualities, so the variables are numerous. But the flavor intensity of the tea you make should be a guide as to the intensity of flavor that will be conveyed to the wine. The first time I made lavender wine I used entirely too many flowers. I did the same with elderflowers. When I first made wine with huisache flowers I didn't use enough. You will simply have to experiment.

Finally, like any wine, flower wines need to age. Dandelion wines really require a year or more to mature. Rose petal wines come into their own between 6-12 months. Hibiscus wines can be consumed immediately, but improve considerably in 6 months. Chamomile wine should be aged 6 months but consumed before it reaches two years. When making a wine where no recipe exists to guide you, it is best to put away 3 or 4 small bottles for tasting at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. If you don't have a collection of small bottles, you can use beer bottles -- they accept corks.

Those flowers I have made wines with are listed in hyperlink to take you to a recipe. Those not linked are unknowns, up to you to develop.

234 Edible Flowers Suitable for Winemaking

Allegheny barberries
Angelica flowers
Anise hyssop flowers
Apple blossoms
Apricot petals
Arugula flowers
Bachelor's button petals
Banana blossoms
Basil flowers
Bean blossoms
Bee balm petals
Bermuda buttercups
Birch flowers
Bird cherries
Black locust blossoms
Borage blossoms
Broccoli flowers
Buffalo gourd blossoms
Burnet flowers
Butterfly ginger flowers
Cactus blossoms
Calendula petals
Chamomile flowers
Cherry blossoms
Chervil flowers
Chicory petals
China rose petals
Chinese catalpas
Chinese chives
Chinese hibiscus
Chinese lanterns
Chinese wisterias
Chive blossoms
Chocolate lilies
Cinnamon rose petals
Clary flowers
Cloudberry petals
Common milkweed
Common thistle
Coriander flowers
Cornflower petals
Corn poppies
Cow parsnips
Crabapple blossoms
Currant flowers
Dandelion petals
Day flowers
Dill flowers
Dog violets
Elderberry flowers
English daisy petals
English primroses
Evening primroses
Feijoa flowers
Fennel flowers
Field garlic flowers
Gardenia blossoms
Garden sorrel flowers
Garlic flowers
Ginger petals
Gladiolus flowers
Golden wattles
Good King Henrys
Gorse flowers
Grapefruit blossoms
Grape hyacinths
Green wattles
Hawthorn flowers
Hibiscus flowers
Hog plum blossoms
Huisache flowers
Hyacinth bean flowers
Indian cress
Indigo bush flowers
Iron cross plant flowers
Jamaica sorrels
Japanese apricot blossoms
Japanese honeysuckles
Japanese wisterias
Jasmine flowers
Johnny jump-ups
Joshua tree blossoms
Judas tree flowers
Kenaf flowers
Kudzu flowers
Kumquat blossoms
Lavender flowers
Leek flowers
Lemon blossoms
Lemon verbenas
Lilac oxalis
Lily buds
Lily of the valley
Lime blossoms
Linden flowers
Locust blossoms
Lovage flowers
Magnolia petals
Mallow blossoms
Mariposa lilies
Marjoram flowers
Marsh marigolds
Marsh violets
Mimosa blossoms
Mint flowers
Morning star lilies
Mountain bells
Mush mallows
Mustard flowers
Nectarine blossoms
Okra blossoms
Onion flowers
Orange blossoms
Oxeye daisies
Oyster plant flowers
Passion flowers
Pea blossoms
Peach blossoms
Pear blossoms
Pineapple guava flowers
Pineapple sage flowers
Pink sorrels
Plum blossoms
Prairie onion flowers
Prickly pear blossoms
Pumpkin blossoms
Purple milkweed flowers
Queen Anne's lace
Quince blossoms
Radish flowers
Red alders
Red clover
Rhubarb flowers
Rose petals
Rosemary flowers
Rose of Sharon petals
Russian sage flowers
Sage blossoms
Salmonberry petals
Salsify flowers
Savory flowers
Scarlet runner beans
Scotch brooms
Scotch thistles
Shallot flowers
Sloe flowers
Southern magnolia petals
Spiderwort petals
Spring beauty flowers
Squash blossoms
Star of Bethlehems
Strawberry flowers
Sunflower buds
Sunflower petals
Sweet briars
Sweet coltsfoots
Sweet pepper flowers
Sweet violets
Sweet Williams
Sweet woodruff
Tangerine blossoms
Thimbleberry petals
Thyme flowers
Tiger lily buds
Tree peonies
Trout lilies
Tulip petals
Water hyacinths
Water lily petals
Water lotus petals
Wax gourd blossoms
Western columbine
Western redbuds
White alders
White clover
White trumpet lilies
Wild columbines
Wild onion flowers
Wild plum blossoms
Wild raspberry petals
Wild rose petals
Winter sweets
Wood rose petals
Wood sorrels
Wooly thistles
Yarrow flowers
Yellow rockets
Yellow sorrels
Yucca blossoms

Also see

Making Wines from Wild Plants

Last update was August 26th, 2007.

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