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  Hibiscus sabdariffa
  Family Name : Malvaceae

  Synonyms : Hibiscus gossypiifolius, Abelmoschus cruentus, Hibiscus digitatus, Abelmoschus rubra, Hibiscus sanguineus

  Common Names : Roselle, Jamaica Sorrel, Red Sorrel, Sorrel, Indian Sorrel, Asam Susar

  Chinese Name : 玫瑰茄, 山茄子

Roselle,Jamaica Sorrel,Red Sorrel,Sorrel,Indian Sorrel,Asam Susar
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Mode of Nutrition :
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Tropical Africa
      Native Habitat :
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Woody, annual or perennial shrub with an erect form, able to grow up to 1 - 2 m tall.
      Foliage: Dark green leaves are either lanceolate (3 - 7 cm wide, 11 - 16 cm long) or tri-lobed (19 - 20 cm wide, 15 - 16 cm long) with serrate leaf margins. Tri-lobed leaves are deeply lobed. The same individual may produce both leaf types.
      Stems: The stem is woody and red to purple.
      Flowers: White to yellowish-white flowers (8 cm wide) have a red spot in the center, bright red, fleshy calyx enclosing the base of the flower. 
      Fruits: Dehiscent, dry fruit is classified as a capsule. It releases many brown, bean-shaped and wrinkled seeds (0.6 cm wide).
      Cultivation :
      Plant this species in well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH = 5 - 6.5) that is rich in organic matter and moisture retentive. Prune the shrub to promote branching. Hard pruning will encourage the formation of larger flowers. This species is susceptible to root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). Mulching the plant and re-planting from seed in new areas will help to control the nematode population. Other problems include bacterial diseases caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. malvacearum and Pseudomonas cihorii. These diseases can be controlled by keeping the foliage dry and spraying with chemicals such as mancozeb or copper sulfate pentahydrate. Plants are also prone to attack by whiteflies and two-spotted mites which can be sprayed with insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils. Stem and root rot can be a serious problem.
      Etymology :
      Genus Hibiscus is from the Greek word hibiskos which Roman poet Virgil used to relate to the marsh mallow plant. Species epithet "sabdariffa" is the name of a genus that this species was once placed in. The common name "Roselle" is likely a corrupted version of the French name for this plant, "Oseille de Guinée," which means Guinea Sorrel.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The young shoots have a sour taste. They can be consumed raw or cooked and may be added to salads, soups and meat or vegetable dishes. Fresh or dried calyces can be immersed in hot water and then sweetened with sugar to prepare a beverage that is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and anthocyanins. Its taste is similar to Ribena (a blackcurrant-flavored drink). In the Caribbeans, people drink the juice extracted from the calyces either fresh or fermented. The versatile calyx is also used as a natural food coloring, as well as for making jams which taste like cranberry sauce.)
      Medicinal (A poultice prepared from the leaves can be applied to ulcers and abcesses to promote healing.), Cut / Dried Flower (This species produces a large number of attractive, red flower buds. These buds, as well as flowers that have bloomed, could be used as part of a floral arrangement.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      This species makes as excellent hedge or border plant. The reddish stems and flower buds add colour to the landscape and also provide contrast against the dark green colour of the leaves. The tri-lobed leaves also help to give this shrub a unique appearance. Plant several individuals together to maximize the impact of its colour.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
  • Foliar
    • Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower Colour(s) :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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