We’ll preface this by saying that you can, indeed, make tea from just about anything. “Traditionally” tea refers to the drink made from the Camellia sinensis plant (So whether it’s black tea, green tea, white tea, and everything in between – it’s all from the same leaves), but floral and herbal teas can make for some excellent blends, too. There are different views on what officially counts as a tea, but for practical purposes… if you steep orange peels, you’ll have orange peel tea. If you steep dirty gym socks, you’ll have dirty gym sock tea.
In this case, we’re going to be looking at a handful of different flowers that can be made into tea. You can grow these at home in your garden, or just buy them already dried and ready to steep. Some of these are already commonly used as blends with traditional tea leaves, and some of them are a bit less common.
- Growing Flowers for Tea in your Garden
- 19. Calendula Daisies
- 18. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
- 17. Mullein Flower Tea
- 16. Tienchi Flower Tea
- 15. Lotus
- 14. Rosella
- 13. Passionflower
- 12. Lavender
- 11. Hibiscus Tea
- 10. Bergamot
- 9. Yaupon Holly
- 8. Mint
- 7. Borage
- 6. Rose Petal Tea
- 5. Rose Hips
- 4. Anise-Hyssop
- 3. Chamomile Tea
- 2. Chrysanthemum Tea
- 1. Globe Amaranth
Growing Flowers for Tea in your Garden
Before you go and start steeping all sorts of pretty flowers, however, make sure they’re safe to consume! While we did say that you can make tea out of anything, obviously you’ll want to stick to plans that are safe to consume becasue it’s probabally not the best idea to make poison ivy tea, for instance. If you’re not familiar with identifying plants, it’s not a great idea to consume things you find in the wild. Obviously you all have a little more sense than to go out there and start making teas out of random plants you find, but it never hurts to mention becasue common sense isn’t always that common!
Anyways, with that preamble and introduction out of the way, let’s get right into it! Here’s our ever-growing list of pretty flowers that make tasty teas. Have any suggestions? Please let us know, and we’ll be more than happy to include it and credit you with the idea!
19. Calendula Daisies
This plant is used for a lot of different different things, both fresh and died. “You can make all sorts of things with calendula, including soap, salve, lotion bars and lip balm, but for today, I want to focus on calendula tea,” says The Nerdy Farm Wife.
Calendula tea isn’t the most popular tea out there by a long stretch, and while it won’t be giving Earl Grey Tea a run for its money anytime soon, it still makes an interesting brew, or an addition to a more complex mixture. The Nerdy Farm Wife mentions using it to make sun tea with.
18. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
These beautiful flowers make an interesting herbal tea, it has the leaves of Clitoria ternatea and often has dried lemongrass mixed in, too. It’s served hot or cold, and has some very unique properties. The color of your drink will change as the pH value changes, for example if you add some lemonjuice it’ll turn from a deep, rich blue to a purple color. You can even add some hibiscus to your blend and watch it turn bright red. It’s not just a drink, it’s a science experiment too!
17. Mullein Flower Tea
The mullein flower tea is believed to help with lung health. It’s found all over the United States, it grows as a weed, you’ll see it on the sides of the highways and along gravel roads this flower is a staple. It has been used historically by Native Americans, and is still recommended by some for its benefits on lung health, due to being an expectorant.
Here’s a Mullein Flower Tea recipe by OrganicAuthority:
1 ½ cups boiling water
1-2 teaspoons dried mullein leaves and/or flowers (flowers make a sweeter tea)
1 teaspoon dried spearmint (optional for flavor)
1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Steep the leaves for 15 minutes.
16. Tienchi Flower Tea
According to TeaCuppa, Tienchi Flower Tea can help with “cleaning the body of toxins… skin eruptions… boils, mouth blisters, dizziness, insomnia…” That’s quite a laundry list of effects.
There were no sources that we found on their site to back up these claims, but we’ll keep an eye out and see if we can find anything more concrete – either way, always take tea health benefits with a grain of salt. They describe the taste as “Cooling, slightly bitter with long sweet lingering taste”.
Lotus tea, or Lotus Flower Tea, is made from any combination of leaves, flowers, seeds, or even roots of the mystical Lotus. You can often find lotus mixed with green tea to create an interesting, aromatic blend.
This is a specicic type of Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) that is native to West Africa. It is used in the production of fibers, and also to infuse into tea, and is sometimes known as carcade. It has a number of different names in different regions of the world, and some will even cook with it, to season lamb and other foods.
According to WebMD, passionflower is used to help with a number of things, from insomnia and problems sleeping, to GI issues and upset stomach, and a number of other things.
It wasn’t until 1569 that Spanish explorers were introduced to this flower in Peru, where the Peruvians discovered it long before that.
This beautiful flower looks like it comes out of the movie Avatar, or perhaps the notebook of Timothy Leary.
Lavender is commonly found as an essential oil, and even makes a tasty addition to cookies and other baked goods.
People drink lavender tea for things like disestive issues, relaxation, and even convulsions and spasms, according to Livestrong.
11. Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is one of the more popular options on this list, it’s commonly enjoyed by tea lovers for a variety of reasons.
The American Heart Association has published a report saying that it can help lower blood pressure in certain circumstances, and some people even use it as a sports drink to help satiate thirst, in the form of Iced hibiscus tea.
Bergamot oil is a popular addition often found in Earl Grey tea, however it comes from the Bergamot orange, which is not the same as this flower.
This type of Bergamot is closer to mint than a citrus-y flavor, and some people enjoy making tea from it – even if it’s not the more standard type of Bergamot you’d find in Earl Grey.
9. Yaupon Holly
This species of Holly is native to the North America area. It’s also commonly known by the borrowed name of cassina.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: While some use the leaves for teas and infusions, DO NOT eat the berries as they are considered to be highly toxic to humans.
When you think of mint, you probabally imagine the fresh-tasting and aromatic green leaves, and that’s what is commonly used in tea – but there are also some pretty little flowers to appreciate.
Mint may be the most popular plant on this list when it comes to finding its way into tea, because it can help with a number of things, including oral health, and most notably the flavor. Love it or hate it, mint isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Borage tea has a really pretty, deep blue color to it. It’s also known as burrage, beebread, talewort, and more. Initially in the Mediterranean, it has become popular in both North America and Europe, as well as other places in the world.
It’s unique look and visual appeal make it a popular garden plant, but some people also enjoy giving the leaves a nice steep.
6. Rose Petal Tea
Tea can be made from roses, using different parts of them, but the petals in particular give a very interesting taste. The petals can be steeped either dried, or fresh. It’s more popular in the Middle East, according to OrganicFacts.net.
Rose petals can also be nice to mix with other types of tea, it’s interesting with Jasmine tea, and fun to experiment with.
5. Rose Hips
According to Epic Gardening, Rose Hips are one of the ten best foods you can forage for. They make for an interesting tea, and actually have some interesting effects, too. Rose hips have significantly more vitamin C than oranges, can work as a mild laxative and diuretic, and are high in antioxidants.
The fruits from the rose plant are generally less desirable than the petals, meaning that if you have a friend with a rose plant, and you ask to harvest some hips, you won’t really be putting them out at all – especially if you offer them some of your tea!
These distinct purple plants can be steeped into a tea with a taste that’s quite reminiscent of black licorice. It was steeped by First Nations people in North America for a variety of effects.
“The Cheyenne drank a tea of this herb to relieve a “dispirited heart.” The Cree included the flowers herb in medicine bundles, and the Ojibwa made a protective charm of it,” says the Backyard Patch Herbal Blog.
3. Chamomile Tea
This herb has been used for hundreds and hundreds of years around the world, but in America it is most commonly known as a tea that people will drink before bedtime or to help relieve an upset stomach.
In Germany, it has been approved to be used on the skin to help with things like fighting bacteria, to reduce swelling, and to help with stomach aches by a government organization.
If you’re just looking for beautiful flowers to admire or to give as a gift, we found some great deals on Flowers from Dealslands, which will be of particular interest for our friends in the UK. Their flowers are for admiring, however, and not for making tea!
2. Chrysanthemum Tea
Tea made from Chrysanthemum comes from old Chinese medicine, and you’ll often find served with cane sugar, or rock sugar. In the west, it is used for circulatory issues like varicose veins.
This flower represents joy and happiness, and is the official flower of Chicago.
1. Globe Amaranth
These bright purple buds will change the color of the tea to a bright pinkish purple, which makes it a really fun option for tea parties, or to mix with a delicate white tea for an enhanced and unique flavor in addition to what the Globe Amaranth offers on its own.
Thirsry for Tea describes the taste as “distinctly vegetal with spinach undertones, herbaceous like chrysanthemum tea and mildly sweet.”
Please note that in some cases, such as with Yaupon where the berries are dangerous to eat but the leaves are okay, certain parts of the plant are considered safe to use and others are not. Before going and trying to steep any of these flowers, you need to do your own research to ensure that it’s safe, that it won’t have any negative interactions with medications you may be taking, that you don’t have any allergies, and so on.
Both tea and gardening can be wonderful hobbies, and the opportunity to combine them together is very exciting! We welcome any feedback, corrections, updates, or additions to this article – please get in touch to share your thoughts!