Looks pretty, tastes great: Edible Flowers are Catching on with Consumers

When orchids, lavender, and nasturtiums are flown as air cargo or transported by land or sea to the United States, it’s easy to assume these perishables will be sold as decorative plants, or alternatively, fashioned into a floral bouquet. But, not so fast…

“Slowly but surely, we’re noticing that some of our clients are also shipping these floral species to sell to their customers as ‘edible flowers,’” explains Prime Fresh Handling’s West Coast General Manager Cristina Moscoso, in Los Angeles. “So, these flowers aren’t just pretty to look at but tasty too when added to a recipe for cooking or as colorful garnish for cocktails.”

Retail customers buying these edibles to sell to the public include such high-end supermarkets as Sprouts, Whole Foods, and others. While edible flower shipments are currently a small segment of Prime Fresh Handling’s robust business in international shipping and handling of fresh flowers and other perishables, “we pride ourselves in carefully shipping and handling edible orchids from Thailand and nasturtiums and lavender from Mexico,” says Moscoso.

Care in Shipping/Handling

As with all flowers, attention to temperature and humidity control is paramount during the journey from farm to market. Fortunately, that’s a specialty of Prime Fresh Handling, which has skilled perishable-product experts ready to assist its business customers such as wholesaler, floral shops and retail grocery outlets. That way, consumers will not only see fresh edible flowers at the supermarket, but they’ll be eager to take them home.

“Nasturtiums especially are used to decorate colorful cocktails,” says Moscoso. These edibles offer a pepper-like, slightly spicy taste. Separately, edible lavender’s small violet flowers exude a soothing, instantly-identifiable fragrance. Pairing well with both sweet and savory ingredients, lavender is often used in herb tea, for baking, for making liqueurs or in herb mixtures.

So Many Flowers are Edible

A rose is a rose is a rose. Well, not so quick: Did you know that more than 150 species of roses exist – and experts say they’re all edible. Perhaps best known as a food or drink flavoring element is chamomile, used in cooking, traditional medicine, and, of course, tea. Most notable, though, may be the lowly dandelion, often considered a backyard weed. But dandelions are nutritious and also have antioxidant qualities. Dandelion roots are often steeped to make tea, the greens are often consumed raw such as in a salad or to make wine.

Safety First

That said, on the safety side, don’t head into the garden to begin eating flowers. Many flowers, such as the hibiscus, for example, have both edible and poisonous varieties. Also, in some cases, plants’ petals may be fine to eat, but the stems or leaves could be toxic. And obviously, flowers exposed to pesticides should not be eaten.

So put safety first. Consult with an expert, talk to businesses selling edible plants and do online research before munching away. Here are a few helpful articles to get you started:


“As more consumers opt to try edible plants, Prime Fresh Handling expects to see a rise in this type of perishable being shipped by our wholesale and retail grocery customers,” believes Moscoso. “So, if you have fresh edible flowers in need of careful handling and temperature-controlled international transport, we should talk. Our experienced team can assist you no matter the flower species and no matter the routing.”

The future of edible flowers looks bright, she believes, adding that “future customers may not only buy a fresh product that looks great but tastes good too.”

Global Perishable Logistics Services 

Whether it’s a box, a pallet, or a companywide logistics operation, PFH is skilled in achieving safe on-time delivery of time- and temperature-sensitive material and products between any point of origin and destination around the globe.

In fact, PFH is also known as a global leader in perishables transportation of fresh produce shipping, fish, cut flowers, and plants. With state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, South America, and across North America, PFH leverages industry-leading technologies such as vacuum cooling, sorting, re-packing, barcoding, labeling, and temperature monitoring to guarantee a consistent, safe, and fresh delivery.

Contact Prime Fresh Handling

For information, contact PFH General Manager, West Coast: Cristina Moscoso at 323-328-8650, via email at cmoscoso@prime-fresh.com or our website to learn more about our Miami perishable logistics company.

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