The edible flowers from woody ornamental plants

A. Copetta, I. Marchioni, B. Ruffoni
Interreg Alcotra ANTEA (n. 1139) is an international project devoted to the development of the crossborder (IT-FR) the edible flower supply chain, the study of chemical and organoleptic characteristics of the flowers and their production with biological and sustainable methods. The popularity of edible flowers is increasing constantly; more and more restaurants propose these products as dishes garnishment or as real ingredient, improving plating and nutritional benefits of food preparations. Most of the edible flowers are produced by ornamental herbaceous (e.g., viola, nasturtium, marigold) or aromatic plants (e.g., sage, lavender, rosemary, basil, anise hyssop), although the flowers of several ornamental and fruit trees are used to have been eaten in traditional country meal recipes. In Europe, it is possible to list plants belonging to Fabaceae (acacia, mimosa, Judas tree, wisteria) and Malvaceae (hibiscus and linden) along with fruit species as orange, apple, and pear tree and elder, jasmine, lilac that, having interesting taste, are still source of edible flowers for traditional and innovative food preparations. In other part of the world, several exotic flowers of climbing plants and trees are consumed as supplement in the diet. Among these species Clitoria ternatea, Erythrina americana, Erythrina berteroana, Sesbania grandiflora (Fabaceae), Bombax ceiba (Malvaceae), Arbutus xalopensis (Ericaceae), Acca sellowiana (Mirtaceae), Madhuca indica (Sapotaceae), Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae), Musa acuminata (Musaceae), Yucca sp. (Asparagaceae) are an important source of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral substances and antioxidants. In the frame of the activities of the project ANTEA, the aim of this mini review is to explore the nutritional characteristics of edible flowers from ornamental trees.
Copetta, A., Marchioni, I. and Ruffoni, B. (2021). The edible flowers from woody ornamental plants. Acta Hortic. 1331, 195-204
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1331.27
edible petals, European tree, exotic tree, phenols, flavonoids

Acta Horticulturae