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Hibiscus sabdariffa

Pronunciation: Hi-bis-kus sab-duh-rif-fuh
Family: Malvaceae (mallow family
Common Name: Roselle, florida cranberry, indian sorrel, jamaican sorrel
Plant Type:
  • annual
Height to: 4-7'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid autumn
  • late autumn
Bloom Description: The hibiscus-like flowers, appearing in october, are yellow and about 3 in (7. 6 cm) across. At the bottom of each flower, enclosing the bases of the five petals, is a fleshy bright red cup-like structure called a calyx,
Propagation: Roselle is an annual propagated from seed.
Native to: Originally native to tropical africa, roselle is grown in the subtropics and tropics worldwide and has escaped cultivation and become naturalized in tropical america and asia.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridatacare: roselle is susceptible to root knot nematodes, so you may not be able to grow it in the same place year after year. Mulch well to punish the nematodes and to conserve water in the soil. No matter when you plant it, roselle will not bloom until days begin to shorten in october. The dark green leaves contrast nicely with the red stems and petioles, and the yellow flowers are a rare treat in october and november. The edible calyces are a bonus. Place roselle where it will have plenty of room. This is a large annual, so thin plants to about 3 ft (0. 9 m) apart. Feed and mulch well. Roselle juice is similar to cranberry juice, but not as bitter. The calyces are harvested while they are still tender and juicy, about 10 days after the flowers appear. The plants will continue to flower and produce if kept picked. Remove and discard the seed pods from the calyces. Bring 2 quarts (1. 9 l) of calyces and 1 quart (1 l) of water to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then strain and use the juice with sugar to make a refreshing cranberry-like drink, or make jelly or wine as you would with any fruit juice. The strained pulp can be used for jam or pie.
Located in: Annual
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