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The Debate of Flowers or No-Flowers on Wedding Cakes

As a florist, I often being asked to decorate cakes. It is a beautiful alternative to create a memorable décor on your feature cake and can look amazing on your wedding day. However, it is not always the safest option to choose.


I have always been slightly concerned about the use of flowers on wedding cakes. I have studied horticulture, so aware of what flowers are harmful, edible and if they come from an organic source or have been treated with fungicides and pesticides. The fact is that pretty much all imported blooms will contain certain chemicals that are not fit for human consumption. Even if they are wired, taped and not touching the cake, I don’t recommend using them.


I often see photos of food products (including wedding cakes) containing flowers that are not only non-edible but also poisonous. It is important for you to be aware of this, as certain species will contain toxins, that can cause serious health related issues. The Food Standard Agency (FSA) is introducing a new legislation with a guidance of what flowers are recommended to be used on cakes and what has to be avoided.


Organic, edible pressed flower cake decoration.
cake made by Bake Your Day By Sarah, using organic, edible pressed flowers

Here is a list of flowers and foliage NOT to be used:

Lily of the valley (Convellaria majalis), Eucalyptus, Gypsophila, Daffodils (all Narcissi species), Yew (Taxus baccata), Rhododendron species, Delphiniums, Ranunculus, Mistletoe (Viscum album), Anthurium, Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and Poppies (Papaver species).


Here is a list of some EDIBLE flowers: Lavender, Sunflower, Elderflower, Primrose (Primula vulgaris),Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), Violet species, Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Marigold (Tagetes species), Hibiscus, scented Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and Chrysanthemums (there are more to research!) It still worth to check if the part of the flower you are intending to use are edible and if they came from an organic (and ideally certified) supplier.


NON-TOXIC and PARTIALLY EDIBLE flowers and foliage:

Rose species, Dahlia, Levander, Lisianthus, Freesia, Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus), Cosmos, Gerbera, Orchid, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wheat and Peony. Again, I would check their origin and source them from an organic supplier, if possible.

To be on the safe side, use a cake maker, that sources their flowers from a certified, organic suppliers, using edible flowers. If you ask your florist to decorate your cake, they should communicate with the cake maker, as the liability is on them. There are many companies that provide organically grown, edible flowers, here’s a list I found on Google:

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