Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

May 9
2 min read
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Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a well-known Hibiscus plant used in Asian, African, and Tropical cuisine. Until this year, I had no idea it was so versatile in its use. While spending time in Nicaragua, I have had the pleasure of trying juice made from the calyx of this Hibiscus flower. In Latin America, this plant is more commonly known as Jamaican sorrel or java jute. Its juice has a similar taste to cranberries.

In Asian cuisine, it is more popularly used for its bitter-tasting foliage. The Burmese call it "chin baung ywat," which means bitter leaves. Add these leafy greens to your salads and stir-fries for a unique taste.

Beyond its use in foods, Roselle can also be grown for its fibers. These can be used as a burlap substitute when making fibrous bags, cloth, or mats. While its use as fiber is not well known globally, it is increasing in popularity with time.

To grow this beautiful and yummy plant, you need a warm climate, lots of rain, and loamy soil. Because they grow best in tropical climates, you will want to ensure it is getting plenty of water. Avoid any possibility of frost as it will lead to the demise of your plant. Roselle is a perennial plant. However, it is usually grown from seed as an annual. Find your supply of Roselle seeds with our Kitazawa brand.

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