Can You Eat Thyme Flowers? [Full Guide]

Thyme is a Mediterranean herb that not only looks good in your garden, but it tastes good as well. Many people grow thyme and harvest the leaves to use as a spice in their cooking. But, did you know that you can eat the flowers as well?

Below, I discuss everything to do with thyme flowers including whether they are edible, what they taste like and the different ways you can use thyme flowers (there are many options!).

What Are Thyme Flowers?

Throughout March to September, thyme plants will produce small, purple flowers. The flowers can be found growing at the top of the stems and are shaped like a sphere. Thyme loves to bloom, so you will find lots of flowers on the plant, and they last from early spring to late summer.

Besides looking beautiful, these flowers have a kind of balsamic scent to them mixed with mint and citrus.

Are Thyme Flowers Edible?

Thyme flowers are a beautiful lavender coloration that smell just as nice as they look. But, they don’t just smell and look nice, they taste good too.

Most thyme flowers are used as a garnish, attached to the stem. Even though they’re typically used as a garnish for decoration, you can still eat it. Sometimes, chefs will crush up the petals of the flowers and sprinkle them over a dish.

Thyme flowers
Thyme flowers

What Do Thyme Flowers Taste Like?

Thyme flowers taste just as good as they look, why else would cooks add them to their dishes? The flowers taste lemony, and many chefs use that to their advantage to create a yummy butter.

How To Use Thyme Flowers

Yes, thyme flowers bring a nice aesthetic to your garden, and they taste good too. But, there are other things that thyme flowers can be used for.

Attracting Pollinators

Thyme flowers are pretty, and they smell really nice. They don’t just smell nice to us as humans, though. Many pollinators love the smell of thyme and will flock to your garden when the plant blooms.

Pollinators are great for your garden because they’ll help your other plants too. If you’ve had trouble getting pollinators to come to your other plants, try planting some thyme close by. The pollinators will likely visit the other plants in the vicinity after it’s finished with the thyme.

Producing Seeds

The seeds of the thyme plant come from the flowers. When thyme blooms, it means that the plant is just about at the end of its growing cycle for that year. If you’d like to grow more thyme in the future, you can harvest the seeds from the flowers.

You’ll need to wait for the flowers to die before harvesting them. But, once you harvest the flowers, you can place them in a paper bag and leave them to dry for a few weeks. Once the flowers are dry, you’ll be able to crush the petals with your fingers and extract the seeds.

Thyme Flowers In Cooking

Of course, just like with the leaves, the flowers can be used for cooking, but we’ve already discussed this. The flavor of the leaves grows the longer the flowers have been growing on the plant. If you’re planning to use the flowers in your cooking, it’s best to harvest them at about three weeks of age.

Some of the most popular things to make using thyme flowers are roasted veggies and salads. The thyme flowers can be wrapped around the vegetables and tied up with a string. You can then grill them to make yummy roasted vegetables.

Tea

Many people like to use thyme flowers to make tea. It’s often a better option than using the leaves because the leaves have a stronger flavor. If the taste of the thyme leaves is just a bit too much for you, try using the flowers instead.

Thyme tea is great to drink on a regular basis because it has nutrients that can help keep you healthy.

Decorate Your House

Thyme flowers are, after all, flowers. You can pick them straight off your plant and use them to decorate your house. Put them in vases on your table. Fill a bowl with the petals. Hang them on your walls. The choice is yours.

If you want an even prettier arrangement, you can mix the thyme flowers with other kinds of flowers. This is quite easy to do if you’re growing other plants in your garden too. The flowers from mint, sage, and oregano go quite nicely with thyme.

Crafts

Many people who are crafty will use dried flowers to decorate their homes or make gifts. One good idea is pressing the leaves until they’ve dried out. You can then use the dried flowers in a variety of different crafts. Many people will create designs with the flowers and then frame them.

Similarly, you can create shadow boxes for a bit more depth. You can even make your own phone case by gluing the dried flowers inside a clear phone case.

You can also create garland with dried flowers — this is a particularly good idea for parties and weddings. You simply hang the flowers up to dry for a few weeks. After that, you can tie some string to the stems and create your own natural garland.

You can even preserve entire flowers without flattening. This is a great idea if you like to create bouquets, but prefer natural flowers to fake ones. It’s certainly easier and cheaper than picking fresh flowers all the time.

Similarly, you can dry whole flowers and use them to make terrarium decorations. Put the flowers into a terrarium with a bit of moss and some other decorations, and you’ll have a lovely flower centerpiece.

For more ideas on how to make flower crafts, visit this website.

Leave Them Be

You don’t have to do anything with the flowers if you don’t want to. The flowers are pretty by themselves and will make your garden look nice when they bloom on your thyme plant.

Many people like to just let them bloom and admire them while they’re there. As the season goes on, they will eventually die away and then you can wait for them next spring.

Final Words

Most people who cook regularly know that thyme is a great herb to use to spice up any dish. But, not many people know that you can eat the flowers in addition to the leaves. The flowers have a light, lemony flavor that can make many dishes taste wonderful.

If you don’t want to eat the flowers, don’t worry. There are other things you can use them for as well. You can use them for crafts, or to decorate your home. You can use them in tea, or to attract pollinators to your other plants. Or, you can simply leave them be and just admire them blooming on the plant.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how big thyme grows or here for how much sun thyme needs. You can also find all my guides to growing thyme here.