Posted in CAMBODIA, Flora & Fauna, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, Travel


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.


Posted in Art & Culture, Flora & Fauna, Life, MALAYSIA, Tourism

Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden

Hibiscus Flowers

The hibiscus is a decorative, flowering plant that is most commonly found in warmer climates, especially tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. It is a popular landscaping shrub among gardeners and the plant is used in many cultures for such diverse purposes as herbal teas, hair products, and even paper making, but it is the ostentatious flower of the hibiscus that has made it synonymous with ‘delicate beauty’ and a popular gift throughout the world. If you take a look at pictures of hibiscus flowers, you will notice their flowers are large and shaped like a trumpet. They include five or more petals and grow in a spectrum of colors that include yellow, purple, orange, red, pink, and white. Interestingly, just like a fine wine, hibiscus flowers improve with age, as their colors darken and become increasingly vivid.

Because hibiscus flowers grow in tropical regions, many people associate an exotic meaning with the flower. As mentioned above, the most common meaning attached to the hibiscus is ‘delicate beauty’. This meaning originated in England during the Victorian era when flower varieties were fewer and tropical flowers such as the hibiscus were especially rare. Because the hibiscus requires the precise weather conditions to bloom into a beautiful flower, it came to mean ‘delicate beauty’. Japanese culture has assigned a similar meaning to the hibiscus plant: There, it simply means ‘gentle’.

There are over 500 species of hibiscus plants all over the world, and many of them have very interesting names. Inside the garden, there would be a building with five wings, corresponding to the five petals of the hibiscus. Each wing would house the displays of different hibiscus species and also hibiscus-related products and handicrafts. Suitable to be place for relax and enjoy the beauty of creation.

Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden

Just a stone throw away is the Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden, where you will be able to see the many colours of hibiscus being grown. Hibiscus is the National Flower (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis) of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur Hibiscus Garden or in their Malay name Taman Bunga Raya was officiated by Datin Seri Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Hj. Mohd Ali on Monday 16th October 1989 with an area of 0.9 hectares. There are over 100 species that are planted here. As you walk along the pathway, which provides a strikingly colourful panorama, of rare and exotic blooms, in a range of colours and shades.

The Hibiscus Garden has over 40 types of local-hybrid hibiscus and more than 65 types of overseas-hybrid hibiscus. Many unique shapes and colors of hibiscus are found here, each fully bloomed flower last only a day.