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Hibiscus sabdariffa

Description

Roselle is highly edible plant that is related to okra.  In tropical and subtropical regions around the world the leaves are consumed as a vegetable, a spicy version of spinach.  They are used in food preparation, while the calyx and flowers are used as a flavoring, coloring and for making teas.  The calyx is also used in making wine, jam, juice, jelly, and syrup, while also used as a spice.

Rosella hemp, which is extracted from the stems, is a strong fiber that is used for making sacks, twine and cords.  

Location will dictate if it is grown an annual or a perennial.  In USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 11, it can be grown as a herbaceous perennial.  In Zone 3 through 7, it is a rapid growing annual.  Blooming takes place from mid to late October, while its fruits will mature in November and December, again planting zones will dictate blooms.  

Needing a long growing season for the pods to mature, when planted in cooler planting zones there may not be a sufficient length of time for the plant to be productive.  Cooler planting zones do provide enough warm months.  

Roselle is a short day plant, it needs 12 or more hours of darkness to promote abundant flowering.  

Young foliage is a simple single-lobed leaf.  As the plant grows larger, the young leaves will mature into three to five lobed leaves.

It can be grown in containers or in the ground.  Germination is very rapid.  Its deep root system makes this plant quite drought tolerant.  Its bright red stems and red veined leaves make quite a statement in the garden.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Will not grow without full sun.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#drought tolerant#perennials#edible flowers#frost tender#woody#edible roots#edible seeds#edible leaves#humidity tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#drought tolerant#perennials#edible flowers#frost tender#woody#edible roots#edible seeds#edible leaves#humidity tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hibiscus
    Species:
    sabdariffa
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Edible fruit
    Edibility:
    The flowers, leaves, roots, and seed can be eaten.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Cascading
    Erect
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fleshy calyx are used for making teas and are edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flowers can be a variety of colors, each having a dark center containing sort peduncles.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are green with a reddish tint. When mature, they will be palmately divided into 3 to 5 lobes.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    Reddish bark is quite attractive.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Attractive red stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity
    Poor Soil
    Wind