Electric daisies are a very unusual edible plant, they are quite tasty with a mild tangy citrus flavor.
They do however have their own unique contribution to the annals of culinary oddities - you actually get the sensation of a small electrical shock when you eat them ... WTF ?!
Something like pop-rocks candy, or sticking your tongue on a fully charged battery. The sensation is not a simple single jolt - it actually has an anesthetizing effect on your entire mouth that lasts several minutes.
Electric Daisy Uses and Properties
In desserts as well as other dishes it adds an unanticipated jolt to that yogurt or sorbet. They are also mixed into cocktails. They blend quite well into the garden with ornamental as well as edible plants.
Electric daisies are packed by nature with some interesting compounds.
Spilanthol appears to be the cause of the 'jolt'. Spilanthol induces salivation, but also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
From a plants-eye view Spilanthol acts as a biological pest suppression agent. Although the bugs don't care for it , Spilanthol has no apparent adverse effects on people other than the Little "buzz' you get from it.
The flower heads look like little yellow marshmallows on elongated stems waiting to be roasted. They begin their existence as small and reddish in color, as they progress they elongate and morph to yellow. The foliage is dark green, some have purple veins.
You Might Like: Electric Daisy and the Weirdest Cocktail Ever
BUZZY INGREDIENT: COOKING WITH SZECHUAN BUTTONS [ Szeuchan Buttons are another name for the Electric Daisy ]
Growing Electric Daisies
They are extremely easy to grow. It is a perennial that can be grown as an annual in more temperate regions. It is not tolerant of frost.
Seeds can be started indoors in early spring or direct seeded in early summer. If direct seeded in cooler regions , the plants will not attain the same height as if they had been started indoors - but will still add an aesthetic splendor to any landscape as well as that culinary buzz that we spoke of a few paragraphs ago.
Electric Daisies do not fare well in excessively moist conditions. The seeds will frequently rot before they germinate. Soil should be well drained. Full Sun is best, avoid overly shaded areas.
Transplant seedlings when temperatures are a consistent minimum of 60 - 65 degrees F and when the plants are sufficiently large enough. Pinching out some top growth periodically will help promote branching. Seeds or seedlings should be placed to allow for about a half foot separation - that equates to a 12 inch separation of immature seedlings.
Leaves and buds can be harvested continuosly so long as the plant is healthy enough. The fresh leaves are eaten in moderation like lettuce or cress.They are sometimes mixed with hot peppers to offset the pepper taste - something like electric peppers.
Flowers can also be harvested continuously, which in season has the same effect as "dead-heading" because more flowers will just keep coming.