Hibiscus: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on hibiscus

Hibiscus sabdariffa is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub of the Malvaceae family growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.

The flowers are 8–10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout fleshy calyx at the base, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, enlarging to 3–3.5 cm (1.2–1.4 in), fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures. It takes about six months to mature.

common names & nomenclature
The genus and common name hibiscus is from the Latin hibiscum, later hibiscus, meaning "marshmallow plant".

Also known as:
Roselle, rosella, rosella fruit, belchanda, tengamora, mwitha, chukor, gongura, pundit, ambadi, lalchatni, kutrum, mathipuli, chin baung, som phor dee, bissap, dah, dah bleni, wonjo, zobo, isapa, zoborodo, chaye-torosh, karkade, omutete, saril, grosella, vinagreira, caruru-azedo, quiabo-roxo, rosela, asam belanda, luo shen hua, lumanda, katolo, wusi, sorrel, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, Guinea sorrel, sour-sour, Queensland jelly plant, jelly okra, Florida cranberry, Flor de Jamaica

Hibiscus, the plant with tropical color and flavor
Hibiscus: Where in the World
habitat and range for hibiscus

Hibiscus sabdariffa is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics.

Hibiscus: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting hibiscus

Hibiscus is best suited to sunny tropical climates with a well-distributed rainfall of 1500 - 2000 mm yearly, from sea-level to about 600 m altitude.

Hibiscus prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil. The hibiscus plant does best in a permeable soil, a friable sandy loam with humus being preferable; however, it will adapt to a variety of soils.

Sow seed in early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals plant them out into their permanent locations in early summer and protect them with a cold frame until they are growing well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings can be taken from half-ripe wood, in July/August and place in a cold frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Harvest the calyx of the hibiscus (the part left after the bloom has dropped off), separate the seed pod from the calyx and then dry for later use. May be dried whole, cut into pieces or ground into a powder.

Store dried hibiscus in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.