People Are Eating Boston Public Garden's Magnolia Blossoms, But Should You?

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's a question of edibility, but also one of morality for Boston residents strolling in the local greens.

Of course, we're referring to the pink magnolia blossoms that have taken over the Boston Public Garden, mesmerizing visitors as they pass along. Although recently some Bostonians have taken it upon themselves to, yes, eat the magnolia blossoms.

WBZ's Madison Rogers went on the scene to ask for the public's opinion: is consuming the foliage a good idea or not?

Instructor of Food Studies and Gastronomy at Boston University Metropolitan College Netta Davis says that while she's not an expert on magnolia petals, there are a numerous variety of magnolia trees that online sources reference as inedible. Davis also says that food allergies are something to consider before anyone swallows the leaves.

"There has been a proliferation of online posting about eating wild plants in the past couple of years and not all of them are backed up by botanical or medical expertise, which is worrisome especially if someone has an allergy," Davis said.

Some brave enough to chomp into the petals said that it tasted delicious, with a ginger-like flavor to it. Others were not so convinced, and found it odd that people were even considering chewing on the leaves.

"I think it should be frowned upon," said one resident. Another park visitor said people should not be using the Boston Public Garden as their own private dining area, and that they should leave the trees as they are for others to awe at. That resident went on to say that if people want to eat blossoms so bad, they should eat their own.

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One Boston landscaper was not so sure about the safety of eating the blossoms when asked if consumers should be worried about pesticides.

"I don't know, a lot of times they use organic pesticides, but I suppose if it's good to eat, it's living off the land, right?" he said.

In the name of journalism, Madison tried a blossom, finding the taste to be somewhere between lemon zest and like a leaf.

WBZ's Madison Rogers (@madisonrogers) reports.

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