Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa
Who wants tea? Not only is the roselle a pretty plant with cranberry red stems and fall season blooms, but the dried flower can be used to make tea. Also, at the base of each flower is the calyx, which is harvested about 10 days after the bloom opens for use in teas, juices, and jellies. Like many hibiscus, the roselle, sometimes called Florida cranberry, has several medicinal properties and it’s used in herbal products.
Native to Africa, roselle does well in South Florida and is rated for zones 8 and higher. It is an annual that can regrow easily from seed. In zones 10 and 11 roselle may even survive a few years if the winters are mild. The plant will continue to produce flowers during October and November as long as the flowers are harvested regularly. False roselle, H. acetosella, is similar to roselle but has maroon-colored leaves. Both species may sucker and can reach ten feet or more if not kept pruned.
We have a few roselle plants for sale in the Estates Garden Shoppe for just $4 – most are blooming and ready for your recipes! If you buy yours before November 1, you can save 10% on ALL your Garden Shoppe purchases by telling the cashier the secret discount phrase.