August 13, 2013 |
Unlike many plants considered invasive, fennel does everything it can to ingratiate itself into the garden. Its leaves are attractive -- feathery and delicate -- and the umbrella-shaped blooms of bright yellow flowers that come in summer serve as miniature landing pads for pollinators. Every part of fennel, root to leaf to pollen to fruit, is infused with the varying levels of its iconic licorice flavor. Unlike other aromatic crops -- dill, cumin, anise, caraway -- only fennel ( Foeniculum vulgare )
July 7, 2012
Bright yellow zucchini flowers are nearly irresistible to farmers market shoppers. Yet it seems many people don't know what to do with them once they've bought them. My favorite way is to deep-fry them in a very light, almost tempura-like batter. Whisk enough ice water into flour that it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Dip the flowers in the batter, give them a twirl to get rid of any excess batter, and fry them in hot oil until they're crunchy — just two or three minutes.
February 12, 1998
California growers, who raise 65% of the nation's cut flowers, have a lot riding on the Valentine's holiday. The top five cut-flower-growing states: *--* State Percentage of cut-flower market California 65% Florida 6 Colorado 4 Hawaii 3 New Jersey 3 *--* Holiday Flower/Plant Sales* Christmas/Hanukkah: 28% Mother's Day: 25% Easter/Passover: 21% Valentine's Day: 17% Thanksgiving: 3% Other: 6% * Includes fresh, cut flowers, flowering houseplants, green plants and bedding and garden plants.
October 4, 2013 |
When it comes to zeroing in on nectar-rich flowers, worker honeybees rely heavily on their expert sense of smell. But new research suggests pollution from diesel exhaust may fool the honeybee's "nose," making their search for staple flowers all the more difficult. In a paper published recently in Scientific Reports , English scientists concluded that two components of diesel exhaust -- nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide -- could alter the odor of the many chemicals that combine to give a flower its signature smell.
March 16, 1998 |
Here are some hotlines and World Wide Web sites that offer information on desert wildflowers: * Living Desert Wildflower Hotline in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area, (760) 340-4954. Also: www.livingdesert.org * Joshua Tree National Park: www.nps.gov/jotr * Anza Borrego Desert State Park, wildflower hotline, (760) 767-4684 * Death Valley National Park: www.nps.gov/deva * Mojave Desert Information Center, (760) 733-4040
August 29, 2013
They may not be the first ingredient you think of when garnishing a dish, but flowers are perfect for adding bright color -- not to mention flavor -- to a host of sweet and savory recipes. Sprinkle tender buds in salad, laminate pastry sheets with colorful petals, or stuff whole blossoms with any number of fillings. "Candy" the flowers, coating them with a layer of sugar, if you want to add an extra element to cakes or other desserts. The options are almost endless. If you decide to add flowers to a recipe, make sure that the flowers are indeed edible.