Thai Red Roselles

Does anyone here have experience growing and using roselles (Hibiscus sabdariffa)? 

I planted several this summer and they are starting to produce many calyxes (the fruit that many confuse for the flower) for me right now.  I have not tried eating the young leaves (as a vegetable green), but I have used the calyxes.  I have made roselle lemonade and this week I experimented with syrup, which has a sweet-tart flavor and dark red color (very good on pancakes--I will try it in yogurt next).  I also made some roselle muffins this morning with fresh calyxes.  They tasted very similar to cranberry muffins--quite yummy!  I am considering jam or candied roselles next...



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  • Oh my gosh I love this plant. I use mostly for tea. It has a cooling effect on the body, great for the summer time sipping. Mine already died back with the frost. Root is where I've seen them selling. 

    Thanks for the creative ideas. 

    • My hibiscus got hit with the frost too, I am hoping it comes back.

  • Just in case anyone is wondering what else they might experiment with using the hibiscus calyxes, I have made leather (with apples for pectin and sweetness), jam (also with apples for pectin and sweetness), pancakes, and ice cream with great success.  I have found them to be a nice locally grown substitute for cranberries--although I still stocked up on cranberries when they were on sale (the vanilla cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving was great!)

  • The young leaves are also good raw- they have a lemony tang.  We grew them at the Cooperative Extension Office demonstration garden this year and they grew really well.  The seeds came from India I believe- I doubt you would find plants anywhere!

  • Where would I locate a grower that sells these local I would love to try my hand at this and sounds amazing?

    • I have seen them at Root Phoenix:

      The tricky part is going there when they are open.

      Vilardi Gardens is the grower, and you can see what she has going on on her Facebook page. There is also a post regarding what to do with Hibiscus sabdariffa

    • I do not know if anyone sells them locally.  I know Baker's Nursery has some plants growing amongst their tables holding plants for sale.  If they do not sell the seeds, you might ask them if they are willing to let you collect mature calyxes for seeds or maybe try rooting a cutting.  I purchased my seeds from last year.

  • This is my second year with them. I mostly just use them to make Jamaica and similar things. I was thinking about branching out this year, thanks for the idea with the muffins. I didn't know the leaves were edible.

    • I saw someone's blog in which they made a cake with gave me the idea for muffins because they looked so good.  Yep, the young leaves are eaten like any cooked green, apparently.

      In what exposure have you placed your plants?  Did yours survive the winter?  Mine have a western exposure, next to a block wall.  I am hoping they will survive the winter so I do not have to replant them next year.

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