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South Regional Reports

Red Roselle Is a Unique Hibiscus for the Edible or Ornamental Garden

Beautiful wine-colored flowers in summer give way to pursed calyxes in fall for multiseason interest

Photo: Andy Pulte

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa, Zones 9–11) continues to get attention from those wishing to introduce a unique edible to their garden. Gardeners everywhere are adding this wonderfully versatile plant to their growing palette. If you have never tried it, I hope this is your year.

Roselle, sour tea, Jamaican hibiscus, and red zinger are all common names for Hibiscus sabdariffa. Lobed leaves, dark red petioles, and rosy flowers are just the beginning of its interest. The main reason most gardeners grow this plant is for the brilliantly colored teardrop-shaped calyxes that remain after flowering. These calyxes can be used to brew a wonderful herbal tea and in other areas of cooking. But don’t just confine this beauty to the vegetable garden. It can be artfully mixed into all areas of your home landscape.

Start the seeds indoors

starting seeds with kids
Start seeds indoors if nighttime temperatures are below 50°F. Photo: Andy Pulte

For much…

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