The following is an excerpt from an article written by Tombi Peck - editor of The British Sugarcraft News

 The trigger for this article was a letter asking if there was a list of poisonous flowers available. Tombi says that after much research she compiled a list which was too lengthy to print in full so she chose to include only those plants and flowers which have appeared in sugarcraft books over the past few years or were so highly toxic they needed to be on the list.  If a bride is looking for ideas in a sugarcraft book [but is wanting fresh flowers] she may think that because they have been done in sugar they are non-toxic, which simply isnít the case.

During her research Tombi spoke to John Quai Hoi, a chef and florist from Australia.  He pointed out that flowers grown commercially are habitually sprayed with nasty pesticides to rid them of things which might eat them or kill diseases.  These chemicals may also be hazardous to people if in contact with icing. 

The writer of the original letter asking about poisonous flowers also did some research herself and was told by a florist that although you would think that roses were safer than other fresh flowers, lilac roses attract bugs like a magnet.  To counteract this problem the growers spray the roses very liberally with insecticide.  This is why lilac roses are softer than other colours.

Here is the list of flowers:

Amarylis, AngelsíTrumpet, Anthurium Flamingo Lily, Arum Lilies, Calla Lilies [lords and ladies], Autumn Crocus, Azaleas, Bird of Paradise, Bittersweet, Black-eyed Susan, Bleeding Heart, Bluebell, Burning Bush, Buttercup, Caladium, Chincherinchee, Christmas Rose, Christmas Cherry, Chrysanthemum, Clivia, Cobra Lily, Common vetch, Corncockle, Corn Poppy, Crocus, Daffodil, Jonquil, Daphne, Delphinium, Dragon Arum, Flame Lily, Fly honeysuckle, Foxglove, Goldenchain tree, Guelder-rose, Golden Trumpet, Hardy Passionflower, Holly Berry, Horse Chestnut, Hoya, Hyancinth, Hydrangea, Iceland Poppy, Iris, Ivy, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Larkspur, Lenten Rose, Leopard Lily, Lily-of-the-valley, Lily family, Lobelia, Lupins, Marsh Marigold, Mistletoe, Monkshood, Morning Glory, Narcissus, Night Blooming Jasmine, Oak, Oleander, Opium Poppy, Oriental Poppy, Peace Lily, Peruvian Lily, Philodendron, Primula, Rue, Snowdrop, Scarlet Pimpernel, Star of Bethlehem, St.Johns Wort, Hypericum, Sweet Pea, Sun Flower, Tobacco Plant, Tulip, Virginia Creeper, Weeping Fig, Wisteria.  LOW TOXICITY:  African violet, Busy Lizzie, Chinese Lantern, Clematis, Fuchsia, Grape Hyacinth, Honesty, Mahonia, Poinsettia.

Tombiís conclusion is fresh flowers are more trouble than they are worth.  Do we really want fresh flowers on cakes?  The answer is a firm NO

MANY THANKS TO TOMBI FOR ALLOWING ME TO USE THIS ARTICLE ON MY WEBSITE - TO VISIT THE BRITISH SUGARCRAFT GUILD WEBSITE PLEASE CLICK HERE