(Hibiscus sabdariffa) Beautiful 3-5 ft. plants with red stems and leaf veins. The bright red calyxes can be used to make “zingy” tea, sauce, syrup, or jam, or candied whole for an unusual treat. For strongly flavored teas, simmer for 10-20 minutes. Roselle was called “Florida cranberry” in the 1890s. The flowers and young leaves are edible and have a citrus tang. The stir-fried greens are much used in Burmese cooking! Space plants 3-6 ft. apart – the wider the spacing, the more calyxes will ripen. The only variety in several trials to begin flowering by mid-summer here in Virginia. Small (0.6 g) packet has about 20 seeds.
Growing instructions: Frost-tender perennial. Germination: 75-85°F, 7-14 days. Transplant after last frost. Full sun. 36-60 in. tall.