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Plant Informational Database


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.


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.


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.


By seeds.

Germination Info

Scarification, by carefully nicking the flat portion of the seed can be helpful in jump-starting germination.


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

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