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Roselle

RoselleRoselle, the plant bears a berry-like fruit which is rich in vitamin C and anthocyanins (potent antioxidants).

Hibiscus sabdariffa is an erect shrub with smooth red, cylindrical stems and green maple-shaped leaves.  It can grow to a height of about two metres.

The flowers have a blood red centre.  They do not last long, opening light yellow in the morning and turning a gorgeous pink as they wither off by mid-day.  The fruit is a fleshy, juicy, dark red calyx consisting of five large sepals enclosing a green seed capsule.  Each capsule contains three to four brown kidney-shaped seeds.  The capsule turns from green to brown and splits open when mature.

The cultivar, H. sabdariffa var. sabdariffa race ruber, is grown for the calyxes we use in making roselle drinks.  Another cultivar H. sabdariffa var. altisimer is grown commercially for the production of jute-fibre in India.

Despite its short life (about a year or less) as an annual, it is very productive.  A healthy plant can easily produce about 250 calyxes per annum.  If you have five to seven mature plants, you can harvest the fruit every fortnightly and have enough to give neighbours and friends.

Young shoots and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.  In any case roselle is already known as a health drink due to its high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins (antioxidants).  Vitamin C and anthocyanins found in roselle juice or tea drink are good for our health and can increase the level of resistance of our body to diseases.  In some countries roselle is becoming increasingly popular for health purposes, for example its leaves and fruits are claimed to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.

mamadou

5 responses to “Roselle

  1. neeny tyo July 30, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Well I am sitting here sipping my homemade sorrel. Delicous. You will want to make some. You boil a big pot of water, throw in a couple handfulls of sorrel. Once it boils it just sits a long time, like over night. you add sugar, or sugar water, and simmer it with a ginger root peeled and ground up if you like, a cinnamon stick, orange piece if you have it, and a bit of clove, very little so it doesn’t overpower…and man it is soosooo good. You need to use a lot of sugar even though it’s bad for you, it makes the sorrel taste right…should be bright red and sweet and a little spicy!!! I think I will go refill my glass!!!!!

  2. Carson Maldonado July 27, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Hibiscus tea is a tisane or “herbal tea ” consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. The drink is an infusion made from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces ( sepals ) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. It is also referred to as roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower) or rosella (Australian), flor de Jamaica in Latin America , karkadé in Levant , Egypt and Sudan , Chai Kujarat in Iraq , Chai Torsh in Iran , gumamela in the Philippines , bissap, tsoborodo or wonjo in West Africa , sorrel in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago , red sorrel in the wider Caribbean , and other names in other regions, including the U.S., where it is sometimes known as simply Jamaica. Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry -like flavor, and sugar is often added to sweeten the beverage. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine. In west Sudan a white hibiscus flower is favored for its bitter taste and is not for sale, but for the use of the owners family and their guests. Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid , malic acid , and tartaric acid . It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides , such as cyanidin and delphinidin , that give it its characteristic deep red colour.

  3. mamadou July 14, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Hi Neeny Tyo
    Thank you for your remarks and dropping by

  4. neeny tyo July 14, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Yup I checked it, roselle is sorrel…it is sold as a drink called ” Christmas in a box” because the carton is a cardboard, laminated box…I LOVE SORREL! In fact, I am going to order some right now.

  5. neeny tyo July 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I think this is sorrel? Is it or similar? Sorrel is red, it can be bought dried in bulk…I LOVE IT!!! I will check but pretty sure they are related..you take the dried petals and maybe that is sorrel. If you take water, sugar and those blossoms, boil it, add a cinnamon stick, some orange peel, some ginger and clove….it is absolutely my favorite drink…so is it sorrel?

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