trade
search plant database and seed store
Plant Informational Database

Roselle

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Flor de Jamaica

An edible hibiscus originally from southeast Asia. The dried seed pods have a variety of edible uses, most popularly in the flavoring of fruit beverages. The plant itself is ornamental as well, owing to its bright red stems and red veined leaves.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

An annual, herbaceous shrub growing to 6-8 feet. Stems are bright red, with green leaves accented by red veins. Flowers are yellow, with a characteristic hibiscus look. The seed capsules follow and mature to a bright red color.

Hardiness

Not frost hardy. In colder climates it can be grown as an annual, but needs a long growing season for pods to mature. The species is usually commercially cultivated in tropical regions. The plant can be successfully grown in warmer regions of the United States as well.

Growing Environment

Grows best in warm, tropical climates. Needs continuous irrigation, so if rainfall is insufficient, plants should be watered regularly. In commercial cultivation the plants are usually grown in small clumps of 2-3 each, spaced apart by 3-6 feet. Roselle is a short-day plant, so it will need 12 hours or more of darkness to promote proper flowering.

Propagation

By seeds.

Uses

Roselle has a number of uses, but is most commonly seen in Latin America and Asia for use in flavoring beverages. The dried seed pods can found as 'flor de Jamaica" and can be added to cold water to create a refreshing, lemonade like drink. The fruits are also eaten fresh, used in the preparation of various dishes as well as cooked into a cranberry-like sauce. The young leaves and stems are also eaten in salads or used as seasoning. The plant has a number of suggested traditional medicinal applications as well.

Native Range

Native to Malaysia.

Additional Pictures

banner banner banner

Related Species

Malvaceae  
Adansonia digitata
Baobab
Alyogyne huegelii
Blue Hibiscus
Ansiodontea x hypomandarum
Cape Mallow
Chiranthodendron pentadactylon
Mexican Hand Tree
Cola acuminata
Cola Nut
Herrania imbricata
Monkey Cacao
Hibiscus palustris
Swamp Rose Mallow
Hibiscus sabdariffa
Roselle
Hibiscus taiwanensis
Cream Hibiscus
Hibiscus tiliaceus
Beach Hibiscus
Theobroma bicolor
Mocambo
Theobroma cacao
Cacao
Theobroma grandiflorum
Cupuassu
Theobroma speciosum
Cacaui
Theobroma subincanum
Cupui