Are Rose Petals Edible? And How to Eat Other Parts, a Guide

Rose petals are, of course, wonderful to look at. And actually, they’re also very nourishing. But which parts can you and can’t you eat on a rose? Are rose petals edible? What about the leaves or other parts of the rose plant?

In this article, I’m going over what parts of a rose you can eat, and which parts you can’t – or shouldn’t. I’ll discuss how to pick them, eat them, and use them in culinary pursuits. Plus mention what other uses roses have in culinary areas, and which parts or roses might be poisonous!

Here’s a quick answer, and then we’ll get into more details.

Rose petals can be eaten raw as edible flora, as too can the leaves. Add them to green salads, fruits, mixed herbs, granola, or cereal. Rose petals can be combined with liquids to create various beverages, jellies, and jam mixes. They’re also used in oils, perfumes, and herbal medicines.

But what about the other parts of the rose? Which ones are ok to eat and how do you sue them? Let’s get into that next.

Which parts of the rose can you eat, and NOT eat?

There are certainly some parts of the rose that you can eat and some parts that are not advisable to eat.

The parts of the rose that you can eat are:-

  • Petals
  • Leaves
  • Calyx/Sepal
  • Flower buds
  • Rosehip

The parts of the rose that you should NOT eat are:-

  • Thorns
  • Stem/Cane
  • Root
are rose petals edible

Rose petals are edible

If you want to remove the rose petals from the flower for eating, it’s best to do so with clean hands and clean scissors.

Remove the petals from the flower by holding the base of the petal in one hand and gently pulling it away from the rest of the flower.

Rose petals can also be candied and are often used as a decoration on cakes and other desserts. So if you’re going to be using them for decorations, then you could cut them with a sharp knife or scissors.

rose petals in glass of cognac
rose petals in a glass of cognac

Rose calyx (sepal) is edible

The calyx also called the sepal, is the green leafy part that protects the petals, and is also edible. It can be used as a pretty garnish on top of salads or other dishes. But, it is less popular to eat this part as it can be somewhat tough to chew.

Rose leaves are edible

You can eat rose leaves directly, they are not considered harmful to humans or pets. They are also used in cooking, and in particular in some Middle Eastern dishes.

Flower buds are edible

Rosebuds can be eaten raw, and are often used in salads. They can also be cooked, and are sometimes used in Asian cuisine.

Rose flower buds are also used to make rosehip syrup.

Rose hips are edible

The rose hips are also edible. They are the fruit of the rose plant and are what is left behind after the petals have fallen off. However, you need to catch them much earlier – before the open.

They contain a high level of vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants, making them a great addition to your diet.

Rosehips are often used to make teas, jams, and other foods. Some people say that they have a tangy taste similar to citrus fruits.

I’ve written an entire article around the great things you can make with rose hips here.

Rose leaves can also be used in cooking, but they don’t have a very strong flavor. You can add them to salads or use them as a garnish.

are rose petals edible
are rose petals edible

When are rose petals ready to eat?

You need to pick the petal in early to full bloom for the best taste. The best way is to smell it first. If it smells good it will probably taste good. Avoid the white area around the base of the petal, this part can taste slightly bitter. Be sure the petal is clean and free from bugs before eating.

Young petals can taste a little bitter so it’s best to wait until they are fully open. Avoid rose petals that look like they are starting to die or that appear withered. Also, it’s best to avoid roses with petals missing, those with other marks on, or that are only partial roses.

rose petal flavored water
rose petal flavored water

What do roses taste like?

The rose is considered a herb in many countries. As you would expect with herbs, roses tend to taste rather like the smell.

Therefore, the stronger and more delightful the smell, the stronger and better the taste will be.

Generally speaking, red roses are not the most flavorful roses to eat.

Instead opt for Pink, yellow, or white roses to get a stronger flavor. Rosa Rugosa is a strongly flavored rose. Or try a David Austin rose.

add rose petals to ice cubes
add rose petals to ice cubes

Individual flavors can range between mint, apple, or fruit in general. Through to spicy, earthy, floral, and herbal.

Nutrients from eating roses

Roses contain many nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folic acid, and flavonoids. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to protect the body against free radicals. Vitamin A is good for vision and skin health. Folic acid is important for pregnant women.

They also contain flavonoids, which have been linked to a lower risk of some cancers. They contain antioxidant properties and provide vitamins, and minerals that boost immunity.

And they bring other benefits too…

Health benefits of eating roses

There are many potential health benefits associated with eating roses. These include:

  • A stronger immune system
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Reducing Inflammation
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • Aiding digestion

Other ways to use rose petals and other rose parts 🌹

Besides eating them, you can also use roses in essential oils or potpourri. Roses are also often used in wedding ceremonies and other special occasions, they can be used in perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetics.

Roses have a long history of being used for their medicinal properties. Rosewater has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions. It’s still popular today and is used to treat everything from acne to anxiety.

Here are some other related articles you might like…

Are Rose Hips Edible? How to Prepare and Cook Rose Hips – a more in-depth guide on rose hips.

Ways to dry roses – all the methods for successfully drying roses

Using roses in cooking

The petals of a rose are delicate and have a subtle, sweet flavor. They can be used to add flavor and color to a variety of dishes. Rose petals can be added to:

  • Teas
  • Jams and jellies
  • Cakes and desserts
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Baked goods
rose petal tea
rose petal tea

Saving rose petals for later use

To dry rose petals for use later in cooking and for other infusions, just place them on a baking sheet arranged in a single layer and add them to a preheated oven set to the lowest temperature setting for around 30 minutes.

Once dried, you can then store the dried rose petals in an airtight container. Place them in a cool, dark place and use them within six months. so be sure to add a date level too!

dried rose petals
dried rose petals

What parts of the rose NOT to eat

Much of the rose plant is not edible. This includes the thorns, stems, thorns, and the base of the flower where it attaches to the stem – or the root itself. All of these parts can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested, so it’s best to stick to just the petals if you’re unsure.

Are roses edible? ~ More rose help! 🌹

I hope this has provided an easy guide on what parts of a rose plant you can eat and what you can’t eat. Be sure to check out my other articles and become a rose grower!

Finally, in case you’re inclined to run outside and eat any plants, I do just need to add a disclaimer.

I’m not a doctor. So this article does not constitute medical advice on what you should and should not consume. This guide is for informational purposes only. Naturally, any plant matter you decide to eat is your responsibility and if you’re concerned about any effects or need guidance then consult your medical practitioner.

Other rose topics from my recent articles…

michael - rosehow

Hi, I’m Michael. My passion for roses was sparked a few years ago after visiting a dedicated community rose garden. So represents my take, my learnings, and my help for anyone looking to grow, be proud of, and harvest roses.